Title

The experiences and meaning of participating in the co-occupation of peer mentoring

1

Location

Regency Room

Start Time

29-9-2016 2:00 PM

End Time

29-9-2016 3:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Statement of Purpose: Few studies explore the meaning of mentoring as a co-occupation and none explore the meaning of participating in the co-occupation of peer mentoring. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of participating in the co-occupation of peer mentoring from the perspectives of both the mentors and mentees and how these experiences influenced occupational identity development. Methods: A phenomenological design was employed (Patton, 2002). Occupational therapy student mentors and at risk undergraduate college mentees participating in a peer mentoring program were recruited. Peer mentors acted as coaches by directing students to university resources, exploring and attending student activities with their mentees, meeting every other week one-on-one to help problem solve and provide guidance. Participants also attended four group sessions designed by the mentors to promote team building, a sense of belonging, and group participation in student activities. For those who volunteered to participate in the study, informed consent was obtained and pseudonyms assigned to protect their identities. Researchers conducted a focus group with 9 mentors and individual interviews with 5 mentees three months after the program concluded. Two researchers analyzed the data by gaining a sense of the whole, identifying meaning units, transformation of expressions with an emphasis on the the phenomenon being studied, synthesis of meaning units into statements of structure of the experience, and a final synthesis to capture the essence of the experience (Patton). Investigators met to discuss findings and come to consensus about the themes. Trustworthiness was established via triangulation using multiple investigators, saturation, member checks, and a peer debriefing. Findings: Mentoring is a co-occupation that was meaningful to both mentors and mentees. Mentees established a valuable relationship with their mentor and viewed mentors as a support system, role model, and guide to academic resources and social opportunities. Mentors also valued the relationship and viewed the experience as a way to learn how to provide client centered care and to gain independence, leadership skills, and self confidence. Implications to occupational science: This study adds to the literature on the meaning of co-occupation (Pierce, 2009). It also describes the process of selfing and developing a sense of selfhood (Christiansen, 1999) among occupational therapy students as they engaged in the occupation of peer mentoring. The findings add to the literature on the process of occupational identity development (Christiansen; Kielhofner, 2002; Laliberte Rudman & Dennhardt, 2008).

Key Words: Co-occupation, occupational identity, mentoring

Questions:

1) What is the value of peer mentoring as a co-occupation?

2) How can experiences be designed to best help occupational therapy students develop their occupational identities?

3) What are the challenges of offering a peer mentoring program?

References

Christiansen, C. (1999). Defining lives: Occupation as identity: An essay on competence, coherence, and the creation of meaning. American Occupational Therapy Journal, 53(6), 547-558.

Kielhofner, G. (2008). Dimensions of doing. In G. Kielhofner (Ed.) Model of human occupation: Theory and application (4th ed., pp. 126-140). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Laliberte-Rudman, D., & Dennhardt, S. (2008). Shaping knowledge regarding occupation: Examining the cultural underpinnings of the evolving concept of occupational identity. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 55, 153-162. doi: 10.1111.j.1440-1630.2007.007.00715.x

Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Pierce, D. (2009). Co-occupation: The challenges of defining concepts original to occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(3), 203-207. doi:10.1080/14427591.2009.9686663

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Sep 29th, 2:00 PM Sep 29th, 3:30 PM

The experiences and meaning of participating in the co-occupation of peer mentoring

Regency Room

Statement of Purpose: Few studies explore the meaning of mentoring as a co-occupation and none explore the meaning of participating in the co-occupation of peer mentoring. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of participating in the co-occupation of peer mentoring from the perspectives of both the mentors and mentees and how these experiences influenced occupational identity development. Methods: A phenomenological design was employed (Patton, 2002). Occupational therapy student mentors and at risk undergraduate college mentees participating in a peer mentoring program were recruited. Peer mentors acted as coaches by directing students to university resources, exploring and attending student activities with their mentees, meeting every other week one-on-one to help problem solve and provide guidance. Participants also attended four group sessions designed by the mentors to promote team building, a sense of belonging, and group participation in student activities. For those who volunteered to participate in the study, informed consent was obtained and pseudonyms assigned to protect their identities. Researchers conducted a focus group with 9 mentors and individual interviews with 5 mentees three months after the program concluded. Two researchers analyzed the data by gaining a sense of the whole, identifying meaning units, transformation of expressions with an emphasis on the the phenomenon being studied, synthesis of meaning units into statements of structure of the experience, and a final synthesis to capture the essence of the experience (Patton). Investigators met to discuss findings and come to consensus about the themes. Trustworthiness was established via triangulation using multiple investigators, saturation, member checks, and a peer debriefing. Findings: Mentoring is a co-occupation that was meaningful to both mentors and mentees. Mentees established a valuable relationship with their mentor and viewed mentors as a support system, role model, and guide to academic resources and social opportunities. Mentors also valued the relationship and viewed the experience as a way to learn how to provide client centered care and to gain independence, leadership skills, and self confidence. Implications to occupational science: This study adds to the literature on the meaning of co-occupation (Pierce, 2009). It also describes the process of selfing and developing a sense of selfhood (Christiansen, 1999) among occupational therapy students as they engaged in the occupation of peer mentoring. The findings add to the literature on the process of occupational identity development (Christiansen; Kielhofner, 2002; Laliberte Rudman & Dennhardt, 2008).

Key Words: Co-occupation, occupational identity, mentoring

Questions:

1) What is the value of peer mentoring as a co-occupation?

2) How can experiences be designed to best help occupational therapy students develop their occupational identities?

3) What are the challenges of offering a peer mentoring program?