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Clin Rehabil. 2014 Apr;28(4):388-96. doi: 10.1177/0269215513504314. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Do children participate in the activities they prefer? A comparison of children and youth with and without physical disabilities.

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  • 11Brain Center Rudolf Magnus and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht and De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the discrepancy between the leisure activities children prefer and the leisure activities they actually participate in, for children with and without a physical disability, and to explore how in both groups this is related to age and gender.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional comparison.

SUBJECTS:

Children with and without physical disabilities that were recruited from schools for special education and regular schools in the Netherlands.

MAIN MEASURES:

The Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE) and the Preferences for Activities of Children (PAC). A discrepancy score was calculated representing high preference but no participation in the activity in the past four months.

RESULTS:

A total of 141 children (6-18 years) with a physical disability (mean age 12.5, 43% girls, 57% boys) and 156 children without physical disabilities (mean age 11.5, 55% girls,45% boys) were included in the study. There was no significant difference in discrepancy scores between children with and without physical disabilities (informal activities 9.8 ± 5.0 vs. 9.8 ± 4.6, formal activities 6.4 ± 3.4 vs. 6.6 ± 2.8). Discrepancy between preference and performance varied by age and gender for children without disabilities but not for children with disabilities.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both groups are equally able to participate in the activities they prefer. Age and gender had a significant effect on the discrepancy scores for children and adolescents without physical disabilities but not for children with physical disabilities.

KEYWORDS:

Participation; children; leisure; physical disability; preference; typically developing

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