Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Lacee Boschetto


Lacee Boschetto


Amber S. Williams


Tyson Sorensen


Adaptive clothing allows people with disabilities to dress in current fashion trends that accommodate their physical disabilities or impairments. Current research shows an increase in the production and availability of adaptive clothing. Additionally, the research on the consumers of adatpive clothing focuses on adults and their relationship with the clothing. More research was needed to understand the relationship that adolescents with disabilities had with clothing, and more specifically, adaptive clothing.

The researcher developed a survey using two previous studies to identify awareness and use of adaptive clothing by adolescents with disabilities. The study also evaluated the relationship between clothing and social participation for adolescents with disabilities, as well as clothing and self-esteem for the same population. The data analysis showed adolescents with disabilities are aware of adaptive clothing and have more positive feelings towards adaptive clothing than mass-produced clothing. Participants also stated that clothing impacts how they feel in social situations yet rarely impacts their participation. Lastly, appropriately-fitted clothing affects how the participants feel about themselves and helps increase their self-esteem.

This study adds to the literature regarding adolescents with disabilities, their relationship with mass-produced clothing to adaptive clothing, and how clothing affects them socially and emotionally. This information is vital to the clothing and fashion industries, as well as the population of adolescents with disabilities.