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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 518; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050518

Environmental Barriers to Participation of Preschool Children with and without Physical Disabilities

Graduate Institute of Early Intervention, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan City 333, Taiwan
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, 5 Fu-Xing St., Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan City 333, Taiwan
School and Graduate Institute of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, 17 Xuzhou Road, Taipei City 100, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Katherine P. Theall and Carolyn C. Johnson
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Maternal and Child Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1038 KB, uploaded 11 May 2017]   |  


Environment plays a vital role in affecting participation of young children in home, school, and community. Knowledge of environmental barriers helps to develop solutions or strategies that enable participation. The study compared the environmental barriers perceived by parents of preschool children with physical disabilities (PD, n = 142) and with typical development (TD, n = 192) in Taiwan. Parents identified environmental barriers by structured interview using the Chinese version of the Child and Adolescent Scale of Environment (CASE-C). The CASE-C is an 18-item measure of the impact of problems with physical, social, and attitudinal environmental features. Differences between the PD and TD groups in the summary scores for the CASE-C and the percentages of parents who perceived a problem for each item were examined by the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Chi-square test. Parents of children with PD more often identified barriers related to family resources and community programs or services, social attitudes, assistance and supports outside of home, physical design of home and community, transportation, and assistive devices or equipment. Greater impacts of barriers were also reported by parents of preschool children with PD. Our findings provide evidence of environmental barriers that inform practice and policies to modify the barriers and provide an accessible and inclusive environment for families with young children. View Full-Text
Keywords: environment; home; school; community; barriers; physical disabilities; preschool children environment; home; school; community; barriers; physical disabilities; preschool children

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, L.-J.; Hsieh, M.-C.; Liao, H.-F.; Hwang, A.-W. Environmental Barriers to Participation of Preschool Children with and without Physical Disabilities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 518.

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