A systematic review of the self-concept of children with cerebral palsy compared with children without disability Academic Article uri icon


  • Young people with cerebral palsy (CP) are often assumed to have low self-concept, in other words, they do not feel good about themselves. We systematically searched the literature to determine whether this assumption was supported by empirical research. Relevant trials were identified by searching electronic databases, and this was supplemented by citation tracking. Of 1355 papers initially identified, six met the criteria for review. Results showed that adolescent females with CP have a lower self-concept than females without disability in the domains of physical appearance (d = -1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.06 to -0.26); social acceptance (d = -1.24; 95% CI -2.15 to -0.33); athletic competence (d = -0.93; 95% CI -1.79 to -0.07); and scholastic competence (d = -0.86; 95% CI, -1.71 to -0.01). Adolescent females with CP may be an at-risk group owing to their vulnerable self-concept. Clinicians may need to monitor and implement appropriate intervention strategies with this group. There was insufficient evidence to conclude that children with CP, in general, have a lower global self-concept compared with those without disability.

publication date

  • February 2006