Resilience factors in students with Disabilities at a Portuguese University




inclusive education, students with disabilities, higher education, resilience factors, Portugal


This paper explores resilience factors identified in students with disabilities at a Portuguese public university. This research employs a mixed approach using qualitative and quantitative methods. For this, we used a retrospective, multiple case study design, and individual interviews were conducted with students with disabilities. We conclude that resilience, self-esteem, family support, subjective well-being and psychological well-being are protective factors that contribute to a good adaptation and better inclusion in higher education. Accessibility conditions on campus continue to present barriers that hinder mobility and the students’ academic experience. Besides their resilience, it is noteworthy to mention the persistence and dedication these students reveal, continuing to struggle every day to make their dreams come true, facing a daily routine that is not always easy. 

Author Biographies

Maria Helena Venâncio Martins, University of Algarve, Portugal

Affiliation: University of Algarve, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Psychology and Education Sciences Department, Faro; Research Center in Education and Psychology - University of Évora (CIEP-UE), email:

Biographical note: Maria Helena Martins is assistant professor at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of the University of Algarve and Coordinator of the Support Office for Students with Special Educational Needs at the University of Algarve. She has published in the field of Inclusive Education, Early Intervention, Resilience, Gerontology, and Positive Psychology.

Anabel Moriña, University of Seville, Spain

Affiliation: Universidade de Sevilla, Sevilla, Departamento de Didactica y Organizacion Educativa, Espanha, email:

Biographical note: Anabel Moriña is associate professor in inclusive education. She has published in international journals and and regularly attends relevant conferences. Her research interests include disability, inclusive education, educational system and qualitative methodology.




How to Cite

Martins, M. H. V., & Moriña, A. . (2022). Resilience factors in students with Disabilities at a Portuguese University. Pedagogika, 146(2), 110–128.