Community‐based participation of children with and without disabilities.

Stella Arakelyan (Lead / Corresponding author), Donald Maciver, Robert Rush, Anne O'Hare, Kirsty Forsyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim To describe and compare the socio-demographic characteristics and community-based participation of children with and without disabilities.

Method This cross-sectional study reports data on 1073 children with disabilities (663 males, 410 females) and 11 122 children without disabilities (5617 males, 5505 females) aged 10 to 12 years from the fifth sweep of the Millennium Cohort Study. χ2 was used to explore differences between the two groups. Logistic regression models were used to assess the relationships between childhood disability (dependent variable) and socio-demographic characteristics. Logistic regression models were also used to examine the associations between childhood disability (dependent variable) and participation in community-based activities.

Results Children with disabilities were more likely to be male, have psychosocial and behavioural problems, live in single-parent households, and have a parent with a longstanding illness. Patterns of community-based participation were similar between children with and without disabilities. However, the extent to which the two groups participated differed. Children with disabilities participated with lower frequency in unstructured physical activities (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.41; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.95–2.99), organized physical activities (adjusted OR 2.29; 95% CI: 1.83–2.86), religious gatherings (adjusted OR 2.08; 95% CI: 1.35–3.20), and getting together with friends (adjusted OR 3.31; 95% CI: 2.61–4.20).

Interpretation Socio-demographic characteristics differed between children with and without disabilities. Children with disabilities had greater restriction in participation compared to peers without disabilities. Participation promoting interventions are required to support the participation of children with disabilities in social and physical activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number4
Early online date25 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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