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RCE 611: Psychosocial and Multicultural Aspects of Disability: Home

RCE 611: Psychosocial and Multicultural Aspects of Disability

This course provides students with a basic understanding of psychological and social terminology, the community integration and independent living movement, and intervention methods necessary to enable individuals with disabilities adjust to having a disability. Students will be able to describe psychological, cultural, and social consequences of various disabling conditions including functional capacities and limitations, describe the vocational implications for these disabling conditions, the impact of culture on these concepts, and analyze existing community resources for these disabling conditions.

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What is an abstract?

"Abstracts are concise summaries that help potential readers decide if they will read [a] work. Since [an] abstract will often be [the] readers' first interaction with [the] piece, you must write with them in mind: people will not read what they consider to be irrelevant or uninteresting."

What do you include in an abstract?

An abstract is essentially an "elevator speech" for professional, peer-reviewed journal articles: you only have 30 seconds (or 300 words) to grab the readers' attention and convince them that the article is worth reading. Start by highlighting the main points of the article:

  • The problem and purpose that the authors set out to investigate with their research;
  • The methods that the authors used to approach the topic;
  • The results of the authors' research methods;
  • The conclusions and implications that this research will have on the field of study and any further research on the topic, as well as how those relate to the problem and purpose.

Always keep your intended audience in mind, and remain professional throughout:

  • Give an accurate overview of the article and avoid including information that doesn't appear anywhere in the article; don't disappoint your readers by convincing them to read an article that doesn't live up to the expectations of its abstract;
  • Due to the short nature of the abstract, use concise language and make every word count; don't overuse adjectives, adverbs, or prepositional phrases or otherwise include flowery language that would distract your readers;
  • Everything written in your abstract should be clear; it should be able to stand on its own and not require readers to look up unfamiliar acronyms or jargon that they don't understand;
  • Think about the keywords that people might use when searching for articles on this topic, including the keywords that you were using when you found the article that you're writing an abstract for.

And don't forget to proofread! Errors in punctuation, grammar, and spelling, not to mention informal language that holds a personal bias either for or against the topic at-hand, will turn readers away from the article and not make them want to read it. Remember that you're the one who wrote the article, and you're trying to do everything in your professional power to convince more people to follow your research!


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2019). Abstracts. Retrieved July 24, 2019, from

University of Maryland Writing Center. (n.d.). Abstracts [PDF file]. Retrieved from

*Your abstract must be between 250-300 words!

Example 1

Although the need for counseling specific to LGBTQ+ coming out concerns is recognized, limited empirical evidence exists to substantiate such claims. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between LGBTQ+ young adults' (ages 18-24) group therapeutic factor scores and their levels of coping, appraisal of social support, and coming out growth following their participation in a strength-based group counseling intervention. Significant relationships were identified between the participants' group therapeutic factor score and their adaptive coping and coming out growth scores. Implications for group counseling and counselor education are discussed.

From: Ali, S., & Lambie, G. W. (2019). Examining the utility of group counseling for LGBTQ+ young adults in the coming out process. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 44(1), 46-61.

Example 2

Interactional diversity, defined as "informal engagement with diverse peers that occurs outside of the classroom," is one way for colleges and universities to facilitate connections between and among students (Bowman, 2010). Little is known, however, about the enduring effects of interactional diversity, particularly as it relates to disability. LEAD, an institutional, undergraduate disability awareness group, provides context for the exploration of interactional diversity and disability. The purpose of this retrospective, qualitative study was to understand what 17 LEAD alumni believed they learned as a result of their interactions with peers with disabilities. The results of this research highlight the potential of collegiate disability awareness groups and their importance as a possibility for promoting interactional diversity.

From: Bialka, C. S., & Morro, D. (2018). Life after LEAD: A retrospective analysis of what members learned from a collegiate disability awareness group. Innovative Higher Education, 43(6), 415-430.

Example 3

Human aging is a dynamic life-long process and an inevitable experience. As the average age of the world's population rises, demands for effective geriatric rehabilitation dramatically increase. An important consideration for enhancing geriatric behavioral interventions is to better understand aging characteristics in perceptual, cognitive, and motor performances. A general shift in cognitive style from field independence to field dependence has been consistently observed during human aging, as older adults show a greater tendency to rely on environmental information, presumably reflecting a neuro-compensatory mechanism of reducing top-down control and relying instead on bottom-up processing. These changes in cognitive style can impact motor skill learning and relearning and, consequently, affect geriatric rehabilitation and behavioral treatments. In this article, [the authors] review research related to the cognitive style of field dependence and independence, and its dynamic associations with aging. [They] also identify implications of cognitive style for geriatric rehabilitation and explore future research.

From: Chan, J. S. Y., & Yan, J. H. (2018). Age-related changes in field dependence-independence and implications for geriatric rehabilitation: A review. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 125(2), 234-250.