Title

Poster Session - College students relationship to health and well-being: Through the lens of occupational perspective of health

Location

Himmarshee Room & 8th Floor Balcony

Start Time

3-10-2015 11:45 AM

End Time

3-10-2015 1:00 PM

Abstract

Theoretical Paper Proposal Abstract

In 2011, there were 21 million full-time college students in the United States alone (U. S. Department of Education, 2013). In the past 10 years, full-time college student enrollment has increased by 32%, with the speculation that this number will continue to grow in the next 10 years (U.S. Department of Education, 2013). With these large numbers of higher education students, there is a lot of attention being given to the health and well-being of this population due to preconceived health disparities associated. Although, there have been many health disparities have been identified in the population of full-time college students, many students remain to have good health throughout his or her college years. However, when identifying prevalent health concerns of college students, the following are noted to be the most prevailing: mental health issues, decreased amounts of physical activity, poor nutrition, obesity, financial health, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual violence and health, and tobacco use (University of Minnesota, 2007).

Current research within the field occupational science has been limited in regard to this population. However, the fields of psychology and education have completed multiple studies regarding the well-being of students to facilitate academic success (Ekelman, Bazyk, & Bazyk, 2013). None of these studies considered the direct relationship between a college student’s well-being and occupational engagement (Ekelman et al., 2013).

Wilcock’s theory of Occupational Perspective of Health (OPH) provides a framework for the complex relationship between the person, occupation, environment, and well-being (Wilcock, 2006). The concepts of doing, being, becoming, and belonging, are central to the OPH, and can be applied throughout any population in order to describe the occupational engagement of an individual or group. This theoretical paper uses these concepts to discuss the health and well-being of college students through an occupational science lens.

To date, there is very little research on the implications and relationship of how occupational engagement can impact a student’s health and well-being (Ekelman et al., 2013). There is also limited examination on how a student with a disability may be impacted by the same construct (Ekelman et al., 2013). More in depth and further research is recommended to address the accomplishment of occupational balance within the college student population and its impact on health and well-being (Wilson & Wilcock, 2005). It is recommended that the field of occupational science complete further research in order to assist the field of occupational therapy in creating health promotion and prevention programs for college students.

Author Information: Sarah M. Waters, MS, OTR/L, CEIS

Assistant Professor, American International College

PhD Student, Nova Southeastern University

Sarah.waters@aic.edu

603-547-0143

**Note: I would be willing to present this in another manner if best for the conference (i.e. poster; presentation on the application of Wilcock’s theory to college student health). Thank you for your time and consideration.

References

Ekelman, B., Bazyk, S., & Bazyk, J. (2013). The relationship between occupational engagement and well-being from the perspectives of university students with disabilities. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(3), 236-252.

University of Minnesota. (2007). Report on health and habits of college students released. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115125827.htm

U.S. Department of Education. (2013). Fast facts: Enrollment. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98

Wilcock, A. (2006). An Occupational Perspective of Health (2nd ed.). Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Incorporated.

Wilson, L. & Wilcock, A. (2005). Occupational balance: What tips the scales for new students? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(7), 319-323.

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Oct 3rd, 11:45 AM Oct 3rd, 1:00 PM

Poster Session - College students relationship to health and well-being: Through the lens of occupational perspective of health

Himmarshee Room & 8th Floor Balcony

Theoretical Paper Proposal Abstract

In 2011, there were 21 million full-time college students in the United States alone (U. S. Department of Education, 2013). In the past 10 years, full-time college student enrollment has increased by 32%, with the speculation that this number will continue to grow in the next 10 years (U.S. Department of Education, 2013). With these large numbers of higher education students, there is a lot of attention being given to the health and well-being of this population due to preconceived health disparities associated. Although, there have been many health disparities have been identified in the population of full-time college students, many students remain to have good health throughout his or her college years. However, when identifying prevalent health concerns of college students, the following are noted to be the most prevailing: mental health issues, decreased amounts of physical activity, poor nutrition, obesity, financial health, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual violence and health, and tobacco use (University of Minnesota, 2007).

Current research within the field occupational science has been limited in regard to this population. However, the fields of psychology and education have completed multiple studies regarding the well-being of students to facilitate academic success (Ekelman, Bazyk, & Bazyk, 2013). None of these studies considered the direct relationship between a college student’s well-being and occupational engagement (Ekelman et al., 2013).

Wilcock’s theory of Occupational Perspective of Health (OPH) provides a framework for the complex relationship between the person, occupation, environment, and well-being (Wilcock, 2006). The concepts of doing, being, becoming, and belonging, are central to the OPH, and can be applied throughout any population in order to describe the occupational engagement of an individual or group. This theoretical paper uses these concepts to discuss the health and well-being of college students through an occupational science lens.

To date, there is very little research on the implications and relationship of how occupational engagement can impact a student’s health and well-being (Ekelman et al., 2013). There is also limited examination on how a student with a disability may be impacted by the same construct (Ekelman et al., 2013). More in depth and further research is recommended to address the accomplishment of occupational balance within the college student population and its impact on health and well-being (Wilson & Wilcock, 2005). It is recommended that the field of occupational science complete further research in order to assist the field of occupational therapy in creating health promotion and prevention programs for college students.

Author Information: Sarah M. Waters, MS, OTR/L, CEIS

Assistant Professor, American International College

PhD Student, Nova Southeastern University

Sarah.waters@aic.edu

603-547-0143

**Note: I would be willing to present this in another manner if best for the conference (i.e. poster; presentation on the application of Wilcock’s theory to college student health). Thank you for your time and consideration.