Adjustment to Higher Education: A Comparison of Students With and Without Disabilities

Orly Lipka, Miriam Sarid, Inbar Aharoni Zorach, Adi Bufman, Adi Anna Hagag, Hila Peretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined adjustment to higher education among students with disabilities from a multifaceted perspective (academic, social, emotional, institutional) immediately following their first year of study and onward, with three primary objectives. First, we examined whether students with no disabilities adjust better to higher education than do students with disabilities (mental, physical, sensory, ADHD/LD). Second, we examined differences among the specific disability groups in adjustment to higher education overall and in specific subscales. Finally, we examined the unique pattern of adjustment in each disability group, and sought to determine whether the groups differed with respect to this pattern. Of the 469 students who participated in the study, 234 had disabilities (mental disabilities, sensory, ADHD/LD, physical) and 235 were matched controls. The results indicated that students with disabilities as a whole reported lower adjustment than did controls. A close examination of the differences between the disability groups in the four subscales demonstrated unique adjustment challenges for each of them. The findings demonstrate the importance of specifically examining each disability group, to learn about needs and support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number923
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding. This study was sponsored by a grant from the Israeli National Insurance Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Lipka, Sarid, Aharoni Zorach, Bufman, Hagag and Peretz.


  • academic
  • adjustment
  • disabilities
  • higher education
  • students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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