Comparing the self concept of children with cerebral palsy to the perceptions of their parents Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Understanding self concept is important for therapists treating children with cerebral palsy because knowing what children and parents think about perceived competencies and adequacies can be taken into account in determining treatment goals. This study investigated: (i) If differences existed between the self concept ratings of children with cerebral palsy compared to their parent's perception of their child's abilities and attributes, and (ii) the strength of association between the child and parent ratings. METHOD: Thirty children (14 females, 16 males; mean age 11 years 5 months, SD 2 years 6 months, range 8-16 years) with spastic hemiplegia or diplegia and gross motor skills classified as level I or II on the Gross Motor Function Classification System rated their self-concept using the Self-Perception Profile for Children questionnaire. Their parents completed the accompanying Parent Rating Scale. RESULTS: Group differences between the parents and children were found for the domains of Athletic Competence and Physical Appearance. There was either no relationship or a low level of association between the child and parent ratings in all five domains of self concept assessed. CONCLUSION: Parents were unable to evaluate their child's self concept accurately suggesting health professionals should gather such information from the child themselves.

publication date

  • January 2009