Picture me playing—A portrait of participation and enjoyment of leisure activities in adolescents with cerebral palsy Journal Articles uri icon

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  • In recent years attention has been paid to the participation levels of children and youth with Cerebral Palsy (CP), particularly the extent to which they have the opportunity to be involved in and enjoy leisure activities. The objective of this study is to describe the level of participation and enjoyment in leisure activities among adolescents with CP and to identify potential differences in participation patterns related to sociodemographic attributes. A cross-sectional design was used. Participants were 175 adolescents 12-20 years old (M=15.3; ±2.2), GMFCS I=55/II=43/III=13/IV=18/V=39 who completed the Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE). The types of activities participants engaged in most frequently were social and recreational activities, whereas self-improvement and skill-based activities were least frequent. Social activities were the activities they enjoyed most. In general, participation decreases, as youth grow older. Girls engaged in more self-improvement activities than boys. Adolescents who study in special segregated schools experienced a lower diversity and intensity of engagement in all leisure activity domains. Adolescents who were not ambulatory and those presenting with more severe manual ability limitations participated less in all activity types except skill-based activities. Adolescents with CP place a high value on the ability to engage in activities of their own choosing and on interacting with friends. Engagement in a variety of leisure activities is important for a healthy development. Understanding the leisure patterns and preferences of this population, in addition to the contextual factors, may help in the elaboration of interventions and programs to promote a healthy development for this population.


  • Shikako-Thomas, Keiko
  • Shevell, Michael
  • Lach, Lucyna
  • Law, Mary Catherine
  • Schmitz, Norbert
  • Poulin, Chantal
  • Majnemer, Annette

publication date

  • March 2013