Effects of social competence factors on self-esteem and behavior in adolescents with cerebral palsy

Leigh Ann Kramer, Marquette University


Thirty-one male and twenty-nine female adolescents (ages 12-18) with cerebral palsy and their primary care givers were recruited to investigate what role social competence factors have on self-esteem and behavior. The youth completed three assessment tools: the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, the Achenbach Youth Self-Report, and a Youth Questionnaire. The care giver completed two assessment tools: the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist and a Demographic and Child Health Information Survey. T-tests indicated no difference in Self-esteem scores between genders. A multiple regression path analysis utilizing Baron and Kenny's (1986) test for mediation investigated relationships between disability severity, self-esteem, problem scores, and three Competence Factors (Activities, Social and School). Results indicated a significant negative relationship between disability severity and Activities (as severity increased, activities decreased) but no relationship between severity and Social or School scores. There was, however, a significant negative relationship between both Social and School scores with Problem scores (as social and school competence decreased, Problem scores increased). Disability severity did not significantly relate to either self-esteem or Problem scores. Without significance, the criteria could not be met for direct mediation. However, in four models, the size of the relationship between these independent and dependent variables was reduced, indicating a trend toward a mediation effect when competence areas were controlled. These findings have implications for future research as well as intervention. Limitations, research and intervention implications, along with directions for the future, are discussed.

Recommended Citation

Kramer, Leigh Ann, "Effects of social competence factors on self-esteem and behavior in adolescents with cerebral palsy" (1998). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9901732.