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Aim: To examine participation–preference congruence, regional differences in participation–preference congruence, and predictors of whether children with cerebral palsy participate in preferred activities. Method: The sample (n=236) included 148 males and 88 females aged 10 to 13 years, living in Victoria, Australia (n=110), Ontario (n=80), or Quebec (n=46), Canada. Ninety‐nine (41.9%) were classed at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level I; 89 (37.7%) at GMFCS level II/III; and 48 (20.3%) at GMFCS level IV/V. Participants completed the Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment and Preferences for Activity of Children questionnaires. Regional comparisons were performed using one‐way analyses of variance and factors influencing participation–preference congruence were explored using multiple linear regression. Results: The proportion of children doing non‐preferred activities in each activity type was generally low (2–17%), with only one regional difference. Higher proportions were not doing preferred active physical (range 23.2–29.1% across regions), skill‐based (range 21.7–27.9% across regions), and social activities (range 12.8–14.5% across regions). GMFCS level was the most important predictor associated with not doing preferred activities. Interpretation: Children with cerebral palsy did not always participate in preferred active physical and skill‐based activities. Understanding discrepancies between preferences and actual involvement may allow families and rehabilitation professionals to address participation barriers.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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