Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Jerome Fischer

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Abebe

Third Advisor

Dr. Roy Chen


As a minority group, people with disabilities (PWD) face many challenges when making a career choice and establishing vocational goals. Self-employment or entrepreneurship represents a viable, prevalent vocational option for people with disabilities (PWD). Owning a business, which offers flexibility, independence, earnings, and satisfaction, is a common vocational practice among PWD. This dissertation investigates the dynamic factors that influence entrepreneurial business formation among minority groups. Specifically, it evaluates the effect of personal, socio-cultural, and institutional factors on the entrepreneurial intentions of PWD. After controlling for age, minority status, educational level, type of disability and gender, the results highlight significant empirical support for the personal factors of proactive personality and entrepreneurial self-efficacy, the social factors of perceived social status and the presence of a role model, and the institutional variables of perceived resource support and perceived institutional support as predictors of the level of entrepreneurial intentions among PWD. These findings contribute to the understanding of the process of career choice and value of self-employment as a vocational option for PWD as well as to the research on minority entrepreneurship by detecting important personal, socio-cultural, and institutional predictors of entrepreneurial intentions. Rehabilitation professionals can increase their knowledge of the intricate career development process for PWD while identifying ways to improve services available for clients interested in self-employment. Understanding the factors impacting self-employment among PWD also helps to identify useful support systems, establish effective networks, and recognize potential policy and changes. In the entrepreneurial process for PWD, social and institutional support can greatly facilitate business creation by providing information, skills and support.


Copyright 2014 Yuleinys A. Castillo. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American