Title

Exploring Mealtime Occupations

Start Time

6-10-2012 9:05 AM

End Time

6-10-2012 9:35 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the occupation of mealtime for a group of preschoolers in a Head Start classroom. The researchers were interested in discovering a comprehensive account of mealtime seeking to add to the rich understanding of everyday occupations as suggested by Hocking (2009).

Methods: Data was collected through videotaped participant observation during four mealtimes. Pierce (2005) suggests that video methods can offer occupational therapy and occupational science great potential for the study of the complexity of occupation (p. 9). A total of twelve children and five adults participated in this research study. The number of children present at each session ranged from 6 to 9. All children were between the ages of 3 and-5 years and met the criteria for inclusion in Head Start. The same primary classroom teacher was present at each session; the number of assistant teachers fluctuated depending on the day. One volunteer grandmother was present on two occasions. Two researchers were present for each session. Prior to beginning data collection, researchers met with Head Start staff to discuss the research and answer questions. Consent and assent forms were obtained from participants, as well as consent from teachers and volunteers. Following participation in the mealtimes, researchers reviewed the videotapes utilizing a researcher developed grid of occupation factors. The grid was developed based on criteria suggested by Hocking (2009) and included observations related to motor and praxis skills, sensory and perceptual skills, emotional regulation skills, cognitive skills, communication and social skills, rules, norms, roles, processes and routines. Researchers reviewed the videotapes in entirety followed by each researcher taking a section of the grid to record observations related to specific criteria regarding the mealtimes resulting in a comprehensive collection of observations. IRB approval for the study was obtained from the University of Southern Maine.

Results: Data from the study revealed rich details related to the context of the Head Start classroom where the meals took place, description of the mealtime participants, issues related to the timing of the mealtime, and a description of rules and norms regarding mealtime within this context. A large portion of the data analyzed related to the capacities, knowledge, and skills required for participation in the mealtime within the Head Start context.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will examine mealtime as an occupation in a Head Start Classroom.
  2. Participants will explore methods for gathering and analyzing videotaped data using grid based on criteria from occupational science.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What methods are researchers using to study video from a qualitative perspective?
  2. What are the group’s thoughts on the use of a descriptive grid to organize observations for qualitative discussion versus quantitative discussion?
  3. What advice does the group have in terms of adding to this study as the lead researcher would like to continue to look at the occupation of mealtimes from a variety of perspectives?

References

Hocking, C. (2009). The Challenge of occupation: describing the things people do. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(3), 140 – 148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2009.9686655

Pierce, D. (2005). The usefulness of video methods for occupational therapy and occupational science research. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 59(1), 9-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.59.1.9

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Research paper

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Oct 6th, 9:05 AM Oct 6th, 9:35 AM

Exploring Mealtime Occupations

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the occupation of mealtime for a group of preschoolers in a Head Start classroom. The researchers were interested in discovering a comprehensive account of mealtime seeking to add to the rich understanding of everyday occupations as suggested by Hocking (2009).

Methods: Data was collected through videotaped participant observation during four mealtimes. Pierce (2005) suggests that video methods can offer occupational therapy and occupational science great potential for the study of the complexity of occupation (p. 9). A total of twelve children and five adults participated in this research study. The number of children present at each session ranged from 6 to 9. All children were between the ages of 3 and-5 years and met the criteria for inclusion in Head Start. The same primary classroom teacher was present at each session; the number of assistant teachers fluctuated depending on the day. One volunteer grandmother was present on two occasions. Two researchers were present for each session. Prior to beginning data collection, researchers met with Head Start staff to discuss the research and answer questions. Consent and assent forms were obtained from participants, as well as consent from teachers and volunteers. Following participation in the mealtimes, researchers reviewed the videotapes utilizing a researcher developed grid of occupation factors. The grid was developed based on criteria suggested by Hocking (2009) and included observations related to motor and praxis skills, sensory and perceptual skills, emotional regulation skills, cognitive skills, communication and social skills, rules, norms, roles, processes and routines. Researchers reviewed the videotapes in entirety followed by each researcher taking a section of the grid to record observations related to specific criteria regarding the mealtimes resulting in a comprehensive collection of observations. IRB approval for the study was obtained from the University of Southern Maine.

Results: Data from the study revealed rich details related to the context of the Head Start classroom where the meals took place, description of the mealtime participants, issues related to the timing of the mealtime, and a description of rules and norms regarding mealtime within this context. A large portion of the data analyzed related to the capacities, knowledge, and skills required for participation in the mealtime within the Head Start context.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will examine mealtime as an occupation in a Head Start Classroom.
  2. Participants will explore methods for gathering and analyzing videotaped data using grid based on criteria from occupational science.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What methods are researchers using to study video from a qualitative perspective?
  2. What are the group’s thoughts on the use of a descriptive grid to organize observations for qualitative discussion versus quantitative discussion?
  3. What advice does the group have in terms of adding to this study as the lead researcher would like to continue to look at the occupation of mealtimes from a variety of perspectives?