My name is Greta von der Luft. I hold master's degrees in physical therapy and special education. I have practiced ten years as a pediatric physical therapist. I am now a PhD Candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am studying self concept in children with cerebral palsy for my dissertation research to partially fulfill the requirements for a PhD. Temple University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved of my dissertation research. I would like to use this listserv to introduce my research. Additionally, I would like to encourage parents of fifth and sixth grade children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and average intelligence who reside in the mid Atlantic region to contact me to help me with this important research endeavor. But first, please let me briefly introduce the topic, its significance, my research, what I would like parents to do, and how I will share the results.
Introduction: As you know, self concept is how a child views himself and herself and how s/he evaluates his/her capabilities academically (reading, math, general school) and non academically (physical appearance, physical capabilities, social relations with parents/peers). There is much inconclusive research involving children with disabilities due to poor methodology.
Significance: A positive self concept is needed to succeed and have positive relationships in the education, health, business, and social arenas. We do not know if children with cerebral palsy have positive or negative self concepts. Additionally, we do not know if we (health, educational, and vocational areas) are serving children with cerebral palsy in the best method possible which would promote their self concepts or not.
My research: I am trying to fill this need by conducting my dissertation research under the supervision of Temple University's IRB. This will be done by first cross validating the Self Description Questionnaire-I (SDQ-I) which is the most valid and reliable tool for use with preadolescent children without disabilities. The cross validation will involve performing data analysis to find the reliability and validity of the tool when it is used with children with CP. If the tool is found valid and reliable for use with children with CP, then I will look for associations between self concept, gender, physical impairment, and educational placement.
Parents: I would like parents of fifth and sixth grade children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and average intelligence to contact me for more information on the research and to schedule a research session if they are interested. Because of geographic limitations, the parents need to reside in the Mid Atlantic region as I will need to meet with them and their child at a place that is convenient for all. The research session would take 30-60 minutes to complete and would involve:
1.. introducing the research topic in greater detail
2.. signing informed consent and informed assent forms
3.. completing a demographic form that has no identifying information (e.g. gender, race, educational placement)
4.. interviewing the child using the SDQ-I asking him/her how s/he feels about himself/herself academically and nonacademically.
5.. observing the child move for five minutes to complete a standardized functional assessment tool
6.. giving the child a nominal gift thanking him/her for his/her participation
Results: When the study is complete, I will share a group summary of the results
1.. With the listserv
2.. With the parents and children who participated.
If you would like more information or are interested in this study, please contact me.
Greta von der Luft
email [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> or [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.
phone 610 240 9520
Thank you so very much for your time and consideration,
Greta von der Luft BS, MSPT, MEd, PhD Candidate