Title

Poster Session - Stories of occupation and parental separation: Narrative accounts of adolescents and young adults whose parents divorced or separated

Location

Winter Garden

Start Time

16-10-2014 6:00 PM

End Time

16-10-2014 9:00 PM

Abstract

Purpose: Through this research we sought to explore the changes in meaningful occupation surrounding parental divorce or separation for adolescents and young adults. Adolescence is a time of growth and transition in its own right, a time when roles change and occupations are explored. Parental separation or divorce may quickly and dramatically change one’s roles and one’s access or opportunity to participate in meaningful or desired occupations. In their own words, young adults shared their stories of parental divorce or separation, focusing on the role of occupation within this time of change.

Methods: Narrative interviews were conducted with 6 participants. The transcripts were then reviewed and re-ordered to create a ‘storied version’ of the participant’s experience. The participant and researcher then reviewed the ‘storied version’ together and discussed salient points along with further information or corrections. Each story was analysed thematically on its own, and then all stories were analysed together to understand global themes that emerged.

Results: Results indicate varied utility for engagement in occupations for the participants. Participants use occupation to cope and move forward, and participate in occupations to assume their new roles and expectations, among other findings.

Contributions: This study explores the vast role of occupation in the prevalent phenomenon of parental divorce in Canada. While often linked to other clinical matters, divorce itself is not often explored in its own right as a contributor to potential hardships, issues, or even opportunities for growth for adolescents and young adults. Additionally, this study furthers the use of narrative methods to explore the role of occupations and the intricate contexts of occupational disruption. Finally, this study explores the acquisition and adaptation of occupations in adolescents, a group not often explored in a health context, as they tend to have low rates of morbidity. In studying the occupational participation patterns of adolescents, we may be able to better understand how humans choose and hone their occupational preferences throughout life.

Key Words: divorce, adolescent, narrative

References

Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Jonsson, H., Josephsson, S., & Kielhofner, G. (2001). Narratives and experience in an occupational transition: A longitudinal study of the retirement process. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55(4), 424-432.

Lieblich, A., Tuval-Mashiach, R., & Zilber, T. (1998). Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis, and Interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.

Riessman, C. K. (1993). Narrative Analysis. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Winters, S. E. (2011). An exploration into addictions counsellor turnover in Manitoba: A narrative inquiry. (Doctoral dissertation). The University of Western Ontario, London, ON.

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Oct 16th, 6:00 PM Oct 16th, 9:00 PM

Poster Session - Stories of occupation and parental separation: Narrative accounts of adolescents and young adults whose parents divorced or separated

Winter Garden

Purpose: Through this research we sought to explore the changes in meaningful occupation surrounding parental divorce or separation for adolescents and young adults. Adolescence is a time of growth and transition in its own right, a time when roles change and occupations are explored. Parental separation or divorce may quickly and dramatically change one’s roles and one’s access or opportunity to participate in meaningful or desired occupations. In their own words, young adults shared their stories of parental divorce or separation, focusing on the role of occupation within this time of change.

Methods: Narrative interviews were conducted with 6 participants. The transcripts were then reviewed and re-ordered to create a ‘storied version’ of the participant’s experience. The participant and researcher then reviewed the ‘storied version’ together and discussed salient points along with further information or corrections. Each story was analysed thematically on its own, and then all stories were analysed together to understand global themes that emerged.

Results: Results indicate varied utility for engagement in occupations for the participants. Participants use occupation to cope and move forward, and participate in occupations to assume their new roles and expectations, among other findings.

Contributions: This study explores the vast role of occupation in the prevalent phenomenon of parental divorce in Canada. While often linked to other clinical matters, divorce itself is not often explored in its own right as a contributor to potential hardships, issues, or even opportunities for growth for adolescents and young adults. Additionally, this study furthers the use of narrative methods to explore the role of occupations and the intricate contexts of occupational disruption. Finally, this study explores the acquisition and adaptation of occupations in adolescents, a group not often explored in a health context, as they tend to have low rates of morbidity. In studying the occupational participation patterns of adolescents, we may be able to better understand how humans choose and hone their occupational preferences throughout life.

Key Words: divorce, adolescent, narrative