Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 3440–3456 | Cite as

Systemic Barriers to Family Involvement in Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities: A Qualitative Metasynthesis

  • Kara A. HiranoEmail author
  • Dawn Rowe
  • Lauren Lindstrom
  • Paula Chan
Review Paper


Family involvement is particularly important to the postschool success of young adults with disabilities who typically experience fewer education and employment opportunities after leaving high school than their same age peers without disabilities. Despite mandates for family involvement, school-home partnerships remain elusive, particularly for low-income and culturally and linguistically diverse families. This metasynthesis of findings from 22 qualitative studies examines family perceptions of barriers to transition from school to adulthood and involvement in transition planning. This metasynthesis adds to the literature on family involvement in special education by utilizing Bourdeuian social reproduction theory and Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to frame the discussion and inform recommendations for research and practice that focus on schools and adult service systems rather than deficiencies in families.


Family engagement Transition planning Parent involvement High school Qualitative 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kara A. Hirano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dawn Rowe
    • 2
  • Lauren Lindstrom
    • 3
  • Paula Chan
    • 4
  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  2. 2.University of OregonEugeneUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  4. 4.Cleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA

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