Children and Adolescents Living with Mobility Impairment

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Aim: This thesis aims to describe perceived overall well-being, coping strategies, experiences of intimacy and sexuality, and global and dimension-specific self-esteem among children and adolescents with mobility impairment.Methods: The study included 141 children and adolescents aged 7–18 years with mobility impairment. Data was gathered by comprehensive semi-structured interviews and the self-report inventories “Children’s Coping Strategies Checklist” (CCSC) and “I Think I am”. Perceived overall well-being was measured by the nine-grade visual “Snoopy scale”. Motor function and pain were measured by the BL motor assessment, and independence or dependence by Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living.Results: The majority reported a favourable level of perceived overall well-being and positive global and dimension-specific self-esteem. Lower global self-esteem was significantly related to: greater age, being a first-generation immigrant, having an acquired disease or injury and experience of pain, while lower level of perceived overall well-being was significantly related to all of these in addition to not living with both parents. Generally, children and adolescents identified themselves as sexual beings and most expressed future aspirations as living together with partner having children. However, many had limited or no experience of partner-related intimacy and sexual activities, and socio-demographic and disability characteristics had a marginal influence. A history of sexual abuse was reported by 7% in the age cohort 13–18 years. A four-dimensional model of coping strategies including “active coping”, “distraction”, “avoidance” and “support seeking” strategies provided an adequate fit to the CCSC data. Three of the four strategies, all except “avoidance”, were significantly related to several demographic and disability features. Well-being was not significantly related to coping strategies, although the higher the trust in the strategies, the higher the estimation of well-being.Conclusion: The understanding of vulnerability factors as well as identification of coping strategies among children and adolescents with mobility impairment is essential for providing proper care, treatment and support during childhood and adolescence.