Impact of impairment on activity patterns of children

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1987 Dec;68(12):828-32.


The effects of impairment on children's patterns of daily activity were studied. Activity Pattern Indicator diary data were used to document typical daily activities of 239 children with disabilities (mostly spina bifida and cerebral palsy) and 519 nondisabled children. Activities of the two groups were compared using analysis of covariance techniques. The daily life of children with disabilities had less variety and a slower tempo, with more time being spent in dependent activities, quiet recreation, and personal care, and with less participation in social engagements, active recreation, household tasks, and activities away from home. Their activities were, however, more often associated with concurrent social input. Although statistically significant differences in activity were found, the size of differences were minor to moderate, except for indicators of dependence. Age was the covariate most strongly affecting activity. Results indicate similar developmental patterns for the two groups, but children with disabilities had less involvement with education and increased TV viewing with increasing age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cerebral Palsy / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Dependency, Psychological
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / psychology