Girls With Spinal Cord Injury: Social and Job-Related Participation and Psychosocial Outcomes


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Abstract

Objective: To examine social and job-related participation among girls with spinal cord injury (SCI) and relationships between participation, depression, and quality of life. Participants and Setting: This sample included 97 girls (aged 7–17 years) who had sustained SCI at least 1 year prior to interview, and who were receiving care at three pediatric SCI centers within a single hospital system. Measures: Participants completed the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment, Children’s Depression Inventory, and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Caregivers completed a demographics form. Results: Girls participated more often in social activities than in job-related activities and participated in social activities with a more diverse group and further from home. A broader context of social participation was related to lower depression, which in turn was related to higher quality of life. Higher frequency of job-related participation was related to lower depression, which in turn was related to higher quality of life. Conclusions: Social and job-related participation are related to psychosocial outcomes among girls with SCI. Participation in social and job-related activities should be a focus of rehabilitation for girls, because the skills gained from this involvement may help build resilience against future obstacles to socialization and employment.

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