Title

Enabling Participation: Perspectives of Adolescents with Visual Impairment and their Families

Presenter Information

Barbara Brockevelt

Start Time

26-10-2007 11:45 AM

End Time

26-10-2007 1:45 PM

Abstract

Engagement in everyday occupation provides the means by which we participate in our world, and contributes to one’s self-understanding and self-actualization. During adolescence, activity choices and peer group membership serve to shape the development of self-concept and identity (Barber et al., 2001; Barber, Stone, Hunt, & Eccles, 2005; Eccles & Barber, 1999; Eckert, 1989). For youth with visual impairment, limited opportunities to engage in meaningful occupations, limited expectations for participation, and social isolation negatively affect participation and quality of life (Kroksmark & Nordell, 2001; Sacks et al., 1998).This paper presents the findings of a qualitative multiple case study of ten adolescents with visual impairment belonging to a peer support group in an urban Midwestern city. The two purposes of this study were (a) to describe the meaningful out-of-school occupations of adolescents with visual impairment; and (b) to explain how personal, family, and environmental (physical, social, attitudinal, cultural, and institutional) factors support and hinder their participation, including the role a peer support group plays in fostering participation. Interviews with adolescents, parents, and support group leaders revealed that youth engaged in a similar number of formal leisure activities, those emphasizing skill building and involving a leader or coach, as sighted peers. Greater differences were evident in informal activity participation. For one-half of the participants, informal activity such as hanging out with friends occurred in the context of a formal activity. In addition, adolescents in this study often participated in informal activities alone or with family. The narrative data revealed two theoretical models of factors influencing participation: The Factors Supporting Participation for Adolescents with Visual Impairment Model explains how twenty factors serve as direct or mediating pathways to support participation, while the Factors Hindering Participation of Adolescents with Visual Impairment Model explains how seven factors hinder participation for this group of youth. The results of this study support a basic tenet of the Person-Environment-Occupation Model ˆ meaningful participation is the result of a transactional relationship between person, environment, and occupation. Findings suggest that occupational therapists should consider intervention strategies at the personal, family, occupation, and/or environmental level.

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Oct 26th, 11:45 AM Oct 26th, 1:45 PM

Enabling Participation: Perspectives of Adolescents with Visual Impairment and their Families

Engagement in everyday occupation provides the means by which we participate in our world, and contributes to one’s self-understanding and self-actualization. During adolescence, activity choices and peer group membership serve to shape the development of self-concept and identity (Barber et al., 2001; Barber, Stone, Hunt, & Eccles, 2005; Eccles & Barber, 1999; Eckert, 1989). For youth with visual impairment, limited opportunities to engage in meaningful occupations, limited expectations for participation, and social isolation negatively affect participation and quality of life (Kroksmark & Nordell, 2001; Sacks et al., 1998).This paper presents the findings of a qualitative multiple case study of ten adolescents with visual impairment belonging to a peer support group in an urban Midwestern city. The two purposes of this study were (a) to describe the meaningful out-of-school occupations of adolescents with visual impairment; and (b) to explain how personal, family, and environmental (physical, social, attitudinal, cultural, and institutional) factors support and hinder their participation, including the role a peer support group plays in fostering participation. Interviews with adolescents, parents, and support group leaders revealed that youth engaged in a similar number of formal leisure activities, those emphasizing skill building and involving a leader or coach, as sighted peers. Greater differences were evident in informal activity participation. For one-half of the participants, informal activity such as hanging out with friends occurred in the context of a formal activity. In addition, adolescents in this study often participated in informal activities alone or with family. The narrative data revealed two theoretical models of factors influencing participation: The Factors Supporting Participation for Adolescents with Visual Impairment Model explains how twenty factors serve as direct or mediating pathways to support participation, while the Factors Hindering Participation of Adolescents with Visual Impairment Model explains how seven factors hinder participation for this group of youth. The results of this study support a basic tenet of the Person-Environment-Occupation Model ˆ meaningful participation is the result of a transactional relationship between person, environment, and occupation. Findings suggest that occupational therapists should consider intervention strategies at the personal, family, occupation, and/or environmental level.