Purpose: To determine childhood predictors of participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP).
Materials and methods: This 13-year follow-up of an existing cohort (baseline age 9–13 years) included 67 young adults with CP (age 21–27 years). The Vineland adaptive behavior scales (VABS) and Life Habits questionnaire were used to assess attendance and difficulty in participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships. Baseline factors were categorised according to the international classification of functioning, disability, and health. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses determined significant predictors (p < 0.05).
Results: Lower manual ability, intellectual disability (ID), epilepsy and lower motor capacity predicted decreased future participation in domestic life, and/or interpersonal relationships (explained variance R2 = 67–87%), whereas no association was found with environmental and personal factors. Extending models with baseline fine motor skills, communication, and interpersonal relationships increased R2 to 79–90%.
Conclusions: Childhood factors account for 79–90% of the variation in young adult participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships of individuals with CP. Children with limited motor capacity, low manual ability, ID, or epilepsy are at risk for restrictions in participation in young adulthood. Addressing fine motor, communication, and social skills in paediatric rehabilitation might promote young adult participation.