Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Participation-related constructs and participation of children with additional support needs in schools


To investigate associations between participation-related constructs and participation frequency and involvement in inclusive schools.


In this cross-sectional study, teachers of children with additional support needs, including intellectual disability, autism, and learning difficulties, completed measures. Participation-related constructs were measured using the School Participation Questionnaire; participation frequency and involvement were measured using the Participation and Environment Measure for Children and Youth. A series of multilevel linear mixed-effects regression models with maximum likelihood estimates and bootstrap confidence intervals with p-values were obtained. Final models included participation-related constructs and participation, controlling for demographic and diagnostic confounders (including age, sex, language, level of school support, and autism).


Six hundred and eighty-eight children (448 [65.1%] males; mean age 8 years 7 months [range 4 years 10 months–12 years 13 months, standard deviation 2 years 1 months]) were assessed by 252 teachers. Across a series of models, participation-related constructs were consistently associated with more intensive participation (competence, environment, identity p < 0.001; symptoms p = 0.007), independent of confounders. More frequent participation remained associated with three of four participation-related constructs (competence, identity p < 0.001; environment p = 0.021). Age (p = 0.046), language (p = 0.002), and level of school support (p = 0.039) also remained significantly associated with frequency of participation.


Children with additional support needs in inclusive schools may have several participation barriers. Policies and interventions to improve participation are needed.

Reference SPQ Study Group (2023). Participation-related constructs and participation of children with additional support needs in schools. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 65(4), 498-508. https://doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.15390
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 April 2023

Publication date

Apr 2023


SPQ Study Group
Donald Maciver
Anusua Singh Roy
Lorna Johnston
Vaibhav Tyagi
Stella Arakelyan
Jessica M. Kramer
Janet Richmond
Dulce Romero-Ayuso
Hiromi Nakamura-Thomas
Kirsty Forsyth
SPQ Study Group


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