Psychosocial adjustment in a Dutch sample of children with cerebral palsy

George F. Vles*, R. G. F. Hendriksen, J. S. H. Vles, A. G. Kessels, J. G. M. Hendriksen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Over the last couple of years, there has been increasing interest for QoL in children with CP. Psychosocial adjustment in these children remains underrepresented in current literature. Aims: To describe psychosocial adjustment in children with CP by means of the Psychosocial Adjustment and Role Skills Scale III (PARS-III), to describe the psychometric properties of this questionnaire, to identify a cut-off score for psychosocial maladjustment and to investigate the relationship between patient characteristics (i.e. predictive factors) and psychosocial adjustment. Methods: The parents of 93 children with CP (59 boys, 34 girls; mean age 12.3 years, SD 3.8; 4-18; GMFCS 1: 28, GMFCS 2: 5, GMFCS 3: 19, GMFCS 4: 18, GMFCS 5: 23) completed the PARS-Ill and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) concerning the psychosocial and behavioral functioning of their child. Results: Cronbach's alpha-coefficient for the PARS-III was 0.89 indicating good internal consistency. High correlation with the CBCL was found. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the 6 domain structure of the PARS-III. Overall, children with CP achieved lower psychosocial adjustment scores compared to healthy children. A cut-off score (1 SD below the mean) of 78 was found. When predicting psychosocial maladjustment in children with CP, less gross motor function, hand function, communication skills and bilateral involvement of CP are the most important factors, but these can only explain 36% of variation in psychosocial adjustment. Conclusion: Using the by-proxy version of the PARS-Ill it was found that children with CP are reported to achieve lower psychosocial adjustment scores than healthy children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-372
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Psychosocial adjustment
  • By-proxy questionnaire study
  • Children
  • Coping

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