This paper examined the self-esteem of 22 adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) (11 girls, 11 boys) who were matched by sex, school, age, and IQ with 22 nondisabled adolescents. Subjects completed the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS), the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale II (FACES II), and a demographic questionnaire. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed that the girls with CP scored significantly lower than (a) the boys with CP, the nondisabled boys, and nondisabled girls on physical self-esteem, and (b) the nondisabled girls and boys with CP on social self-esteem. The scores of the boys with CP were similar to those of the nondisabled groups. This differential effect of disability on males and females is discussed in terms of the interactionist theory and the implications for occupational therapy.

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