Title

Activity Patterns and Occupational Balance: The Transition to College

Start Time

24-10-2008 11:30 AM

End Time

24-10-2008 12:00 PM

Abstract

The transition to college represents an important life event for many young adults. This transition provides an opportunity for students to attempt and practice emerging adult roles. However, the transition also presents numerous life stressors that can disrupt or interfere with the college experience. New college students are often faced with increased academic challenges, the need to develop time management and independent living skills, financial pressures, and new social opportunities and pressures. These stressors may persist through the first year of college and can lead to mental health challenges, risk taking behaviors, and academic failure. College freshmen are at increased risk for depression, weight gain, eating disorders, excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking, and risky sexual behaviors. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the activity patterns and sense of occupational balance in first year college students, and the impact of the transition to college on activity choices, patterns, and satisfaction. Full-time, first year students at a small, private university in Northern California were invited via email during the Spring semester to participate in an anonymous web-based (Zoomerang) survey. The survey included cafeteria-style, Likert scale, and open-ended questions on activity changes upon entering college; ease of transition to college; current participation in leisure activities, paid employment, and school work; and satisfaction with schedule. 50 students, ranging in age from 18 to 25, completed surveys. Data is currently being analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, and Chisquares. Preliminary analysis revealed that students dropped numerous activities, including volunteer work, family activities, and sports activities, but gained few new activities. Students reported that time management; developing new social networks; and finding a balance between school, work, and leisure were the most challenging aspects of the transition to college. Social and passive leisure activities were the most frequently reported, and students who had more frequent leisure participation were more satisfied with their schedules. A Dominican graduate student will use data from this study to develop an occupational therapy group intervention for at-risk college freshmen.

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Oct 24th, 11:30 AM Oct 24th, 12:00 PM

Activity Patterns and Occupational Balance: The Transition to College

The transition to college represents an important life event for many young adults. This transition provides an opportunity for students to attempt and practice emerging adult roles. However, the transition also presents numerous life stressors that can disrupt or interfere with the college experience. New college students are often faced with increased academic challenges, the need to develop time management and independent living skills, financial pressures, and new social opportunities and pressures. These stressors may persist through the first year of college and can lead to mental health challenges, risk taking behaviors, and academic failure. College freshmen are at increased risk for depression, weight gain, eating disorders, excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking, and risky sexual behaviors. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the activity patterns and sense of occupational balance in first year college students, and the impact of the transition to college on activity choices, patterns, and satisfaction. Full-time, first year students at a small, private university in Northern California were invited via email during the Spring semester to participate in an anonymous web-based (Zoomerang) survey. The survey included cafeteria-style, Likert scale, and open-ended questions on activity changes upon entering college; ease of transition to college; current participation in leisure activities, paid employment, and school work; and satisfaction with schedule. 50 students, ranging in age from 18 to 25, completed surveys. Data is currently being analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, and Chisquares. Preliminary analysis revealed that students dropped numerous activities, including volunteer work, family activities, and sports activities, but gained few new activities. Students reported that time management; developing new social networks; and finding a balance between school, work, and leisure were the most challenging aspects of the transition to college. Social and passive leisure activities were the most frequently reported, and students who had more frequent leisure participation were more satisfied with their schedules. A Dominican graduate student will use data from this study to develop an occupational therapy group intervention for at-risk college freshmen.