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SAGE Publications

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Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin

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People with disabilities are sexual beings, yet there is little research on sexuality in this population. The present study explored the impact of sex education for people with congenital neurological disabilities, largely, spina bifida and cerebral palsy, on sexual self-concept and life satisfaction. This study included 104 adults with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and other congenital neurological disabilities. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine the relationships between demographic variables, sexual health education variables, and outcome variables (sexual self-concept and life satisfaction). Serial mediation analysis was conducted to examine the mediating relationship of sexual self-concept variables (sexual anxiety and sexual self-esteem) between social support and life satisfaction. Results indicated that sexual self-concept was significantly predicted by relationship status, disability impact, and satisfaction with sex education. Life satisfaction was significantly predicted by relationship status, social support, disability impact, and sexual self-concept. Sexual anxiety and sexual self-esteem formed a partial serial mediating relationship between social support and life satisfaction. The findings expand upon existing literature on sex education for people with disabilities, reinforcing the notion that satisfactory sex education and strong social support positively impact the life satisfaction of individuals with spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Implications for rehabilitation research and practice are discussed.


Accepted version. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, Vol. 66, No. 1 (October 2022): 46-57. DOI. This article is © SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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