Title

The Meaning of Occupational Therapy Groups for Low-Income Urban Youth Attending After-School Care

Presenter Information

Susan Bazyk

Start Time

7-10-2006 10:15 AM

End Time

7-10-2006 12:00 PM

Abstract

The application of occupational science to practice, specifically the principle of occupational justice, has inspired occupational therapist to pursue new practice arenas - to actively pursue the development of programs designed to promote health through occupation for all individuals. From an occupational science perspective, the unique role of occupational therapy in addressing the occupation-based and social-emotional needs of low-income urban youth attending after-school care will be explored. Low-income urban youth may be at-risk of occupational deprivation because of limited social and material resources. With fewer opportunities to engage in structured leisure occupations, these children spend more time in passive, unstructured activities and subsequently may be lured into participating in risky street activities in order to meet personal need for challenging occupation. In the spirit of occupational justice, the Occupational Therapy Groups for HOPE (Healthy Occupations for Positive Emotions) were developed to promote occupational enrichment for low-income urban youth. The nine-week HOPE groups provide a combination of meaningful structured leisure occupations and social-emotional learning activities within a supportive group context. In an attempt to determine the essence of occupation and its influence on health and well-being, this phenomenological study focused on the meaning of the HOPE groups for the participating youth. In-depth interviews and participant observation were used to explore how the participants’ perceived and experienced engagement in structured leisure occupations and social-emotional learning activities provided within a therapeutic group context. Ten children between the ages of 7 and 12 were interviewed between one and three times yielding a total of 23 interviews. The focus of analysis was on understanding the children's subjective experience of the HOPE groups and identifying the core essence of the experience from an occupational perspective. Selected excerpts from the interviews will be offered to help illustrate the findings. Specifically, findings contribute to an understanding of the meaning, form, and function of occupation by exploring how engagement in the HOPE groups influenced the participants' daily occupations and interpersonal relationships. In this way, findings may simultaneously contribute to the discipline of occupational science and the fields of occupational therapy and after-school care.

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Oct 7th, 10:15 AM Oct 7th, 12:00 PM

The Meaning of Occupational Therapy Groups for Low-Income Urban Youth Attending After-School Care

The application of occupational science to practice, specifically the principle of occupational justice, has inspired occupational therapist to pursue new practice arenas - to actively pursue the development of programs designed to promote health through occupation for all individuals. From an occupational science perspective, the unique role of occupational therapy in addressing the occupation-based and social-emotional needs of low-income urban youth attending after-school care will be explored. Low-income urban youth may be at-risk of occupational deprivation because of limited social and material resources. With fewer opportunities to engage in structured leisure occupations, these children spend more time in passive, unstructured activities and subsequently may be lured into participating in risky street activities in order to meet personal need for challenging occupation. In the spirit of occupational justice, the Occupational Therapy Groups for HOPE (Healthy Occupations for Positive Emotions) were developed to promote occupational enrichment for low-income urban youth. The nine-week HOPE groups provide a combination of meaningful structured leisure occupations and social-emotional learning activities within a supportive group context. In an attempt to determine the essence of occupation and its influence on health and well-being, this phenomenological study focused on the meaning of the HOPE groups for the participating youth. In-depth interviews and participant observation were used to explore how the participants’ perceived and experienced engagement in structured leisure occupations and social-emotional learning activities provided within a therapeutic group context. Ten children between the ages of 7 and 12 were interviewed between one and three times yielding a total of 23 interviews. The focus of analysis was on understanding the children's subjective experience of the HOPE groups and identifying the core essence of the experience from an occupational perspective. Selected excerpts from the interviews will be offered to help illustrate the findings. Specifically, findings contribute to an understanding of the meaning, form, and function of occupation by exploring how engagement in the HOPE groups influenced the participants' daily occupations and interpersonal relationships. In this way, findings may simultaneously contribute to the discipline of occupational science and the fields of occupational therapy and after-school care.