OBJECTIVE. We assessed whether functional capacity predicts self-esteem in people with cerebral palsy (CP).

METHOD. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study of 108 people with CP, ages 16–65 yr, who were residents of Spain. Self-esteem was captured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and functional capacity using the Barthel Index (BI). Sociodemographic characteristics were recorded. The relationship between the RSES score and the BI score was analyzed using linear regression.

RESULTS. RSES scores increased significantly as BI scores increased (regression coefficient = 0.047, 95% confidence interval [0.017, 0.078], p = .003). People with a higher level of education, active employment, and independent living arrangements tended to have better functional capacity and higher self-esteem.

CONCLUSION. Greater functional capacity predicted higher self-esteem; this effect is probably partly mediated by education, employment, and living arrangements.

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