Looking to the future: adolescents with cerebral palsy talk about their aspirations – a narrative study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • PURPOSE: To explore the future hopes and aspirations of adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) with a particular focus on their reflections on engagement in leisure activities. METHOD: This qualitative study used narrative inquiry methodology. Ten adolescents, aged 14-16 years with CP and Manual Ability Classification System levels ranging from I-IV, were purposively sampled from a longitudinal study of leisure participation. Data were gathered during two face-face interviews conducted approximately 1 month apart. Between interviews, photographs were taken by the adolescents to represent their visions of their future aspirations. In accordance with narrative inquiry methodology, the results were presented as individual stories constructed by the researcher. These narratives were subsequently analysed to produce themes representing the participants' reflections on their future. RESULTS: Three themes were developed: (i) Keeping close relationships, (ii) Choosing a future life of one's own, (iii) Leisure in the years ahead. All the adolescents had aspirations for education, work, leisure and living situation. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the value of seeking information from adolescents with CP and suggests clinicians be aware of, and work to support their expectations for future study, employment and recreational engagement.

publication date

  • December 2012

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