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Older adolescents with cerebral palsy perceived success to mean being happy, believing in themselves, and being believed in and accepted by others

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QUESTIONS: How do older adolescents with cerebral palsy who are at the transition stage to adult life define success? What are the factors related to success?


Exploratory qualitative study.


Southwestern Ontario, Canada.


10 adolescents with cerebral palsy aged 18–20 years (mean age 19 y, 70% women). 5 adolescents were nearing the end of high school, 2 had recently graduated, and 3 had just begun university or college. 2 adolescents were non-ambulatory. Participants had to have the cognitive and communicative ability to understand abstract questions and articulate thoughts.


2 hour semistructured interviews were held with each participant. Questions were designed to obtain the participant's view of the meaning of success in life and the factors that helped or hindered success. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were coded according …

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  • Sources of funding: Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation and Thames Valley Children's Centre.

  • For correspondence: Dr G A King, Research Program, Thames Valley Children's Centre, 779 Base Line Road East, London, Ontario N6C 5V6, Canada.