Wagner, M. and Newman, L. (2015), “Longitudinal Post-High School Outcomes of Young Adults with Learning Disabilities or Emotional/Behavioral Disorders”, Transition of Youth and Young Adults (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 31-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0735-004X20150000028003
Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) and the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), this study compared the post-high school outcomes of young adults with learning disabilities (LD) or emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) in 1990 and 2005. These cohort comparisons reveal how the results of special education have changed over that time period as evidenced in the post-high school outcomes of nationally representative samples of youth. The extended data collection time period of NLTS2 (2001–2009) also enabled an assessment of the evolution in the post-high school outcomes of young adults with LD or EBD who had been out of high school up to 8 years. The post-high school outcomes considered included high school completion, postsecondary education enrollment and completion, employment status and wages, and community integration as illustrated by living arrangements and criminal justice system involvement. Findings for both the NLTS/NLTS2 cohort comparisons and the longitudinal analyses from NLTS2 indicate progress in efforts to improve outcomes for youth and young adults with LD or EBD but also underscore the work ahead in setting these groups on a path to successful adulthood. Implications for practice and research are discussed.