Researchers have explored several angles of occupational therapy for youth at OTTP-SF. From examining the sensory profiles of the youth we serve to seeking a qualitative understanding of how they experience occupational therapy, the research below offers academic perspectives on the work being done at OTTP-SF.
- Engagement in Play Activities as a Means for Youth in
Detention to Acquire Life Skills
Chi-Kwan Shea1 & Andrew M.H. Siu. (2016). Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/oti.1432
Abstract: This study describes how occupational therapists in a community-based programme, Occupational Therapy Training Program (OTTP), use play activities to facilitate the acquisition of life skills by youth in detention. This pilot
study explored the extent of engagement of male and female inmates aged 14 to 18 years old in structured play activities on topics such as interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, cultural celebrations and the transition to community. Retrospective analysis of data collected from surveys using the Engagement in OTTP Activities Questionnaire (EOAQ), completed by youth participants at the end of each group session, was used to measure the extent of occupational engagement. Worksheets and artworks produced by OTTP participants during those group sessions were also analysed.
The participants reported very high engagement in OTTP. Engagement scores for male participants were higher than those for female participants, and male and female participants had higher engagement scores for different activities. Over 90% of the worksheets and artworks were found to be complete and relevant to the topic of the session. Play activities could be an appropriate way for occupational therapists to encourage youth in detention to acquire life skills. Demographic information and the actual number of participants are unknown because of how the existing data were collected. Future studies examining the potential gender-related preferences for specific topics deserve further investigation as well as research comparing the youth’s engagement in OTTP interventions using
play activities to other group interventions. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Access article
- Goals and Expectations of Continuation High
School Students Transitioning to Postsecondary
Chi-Kwan Shea and Gordon Muir Giles. (2016). The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
Abstract Background: Students at a continuation high school (CHS) a ended an occupational therapy program to
acquire life skills in preparation for their transition from secondary education. Most of the students who
participated in the OT program planned to pursue a postsecondary education (PSE), but the CHS students
encountered many barriers in negotiating the requirements of PSE. Discernment of these barriers
encountered by the CHS students may enable the occupational therapy practitioners to be er prepare the
students for PSE.
Method: It was a qualitative phenomenological study based on analyses of interview data. Semi-structured
one-on-one interviews were conducted with eight CHS senior students and ve CHS graduates with the aim
to explore the students’ beliefs and knowledge regarding their transition to PSE.
Results: The CHS students consistently reported PSE to be essential for successful adulthood but were
unable to describe basic PSE entry requirements and processes. e students did not report concerns
regarding their intellectual aptitude for PSE but reported entrenched negative behaviors, particularly truancy,
as potential barriers to success. e students acknowledged responsibility for their successes and/or failures
without blaming either others or the social environment.
Conclusion: It is recommended that OT interventions focus on guiding the students to access knowledge of
the PSE process and set realistic personal, education, and career goals with incremental action steps leading to
goal achievement. Access article
- Client perception of a client-centered and occupation-based intervention for at-risk youth
Shea, C. and Jackson, N. (2014). Client perception of a client-centered and occupation-based intervention for at-risk youth. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy Oct 20:1-8.
Abstract: A community-based occupational therapy program aims to provide client-centered and occupation-based interventions to at-risk youth. Objective: This pilot study explores how at-risk youth experiencing psychosocial and environmental barriers to occupation respond to client-centered and occupation-based occupational therapy in the community. Method: One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with five youth participants receiving individual therapy interventions through a community-based occupational therapy program. The transcript data were analyzed qualitatively. Results: Three themes emerged: (i) client-centered and occupation-based OT interventions, (ii) the youths' increased self-advocacy, and (iii) the enhancement of youths' perception of their future. Conclusion and significance: The youth in this study described OT interventions exemplifying client-centered and occupation-based therapy, a non-prescriptive approach that validates the individual and may prove especially effective in serving the at-risk youth population. Access article
- Finding the Key: Sensory Profiles of Youths Involved in the Justice System
Shea, C. and Wu, R. (2013). Finding the Key: Sensory Profiles of Youths Involved in the Justice System. OT Practice 18(18) 9–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.7138/otp.2013.1818f1 By Chi-Kwan Shea and Robyn Wu
The community-based Occupational Therapy Training Program in San Francisco studied the merits of sensory and emotional regulation for youth within the juvenile justice system to promote occupational performance.
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- Examining the Sensory Profiles of At-Risk Youth
Participating in a Pre-employment Program
Shea, Chi-Kwan Ph.D., OTR/L and Wu, Robyn OTD, OTR/L, BCP (2012) "Examining the Sensory Profiles of At-Risk Youth
Participating in a Pre-employment Program," The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 5.
The purpose of this study is to use Dunn’s model of sensory processing to investigate the sensory profiles of
youth participating in a community-based occupational therapy pre-employment program. The youth
participants had been involved in the juvenile justice system and were placed on probation. The study
analyzed data from the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) questionnaires (Brown & Dunn, 2002)
completed by 79 youth participants. Analysis of the participants’ scores on the AASP showed statistically
significant differences from the norm in two quadrants; the delinquent youth scored lower in Sensation
Seeking and higher in Sensation Avoiding. The delinquent youth participants demonstrated a high prevalence
of atypical sensory processing patterns. Implications for further investigation and practice are discussed.
sensory processing, at-risk youth, productive occupation
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- Occupational Therapists’ and Teachers’ Differing Beliefs About How They Can Assist Continuation High School Students’ Transition to Postsecondary Education
Chi-Kwan Shea & Gordon Muir Giles (2012): Occupational Therapists’ and Teachers’ Differing Beliefs About How They Can Assist Continuation High School Students’ Transition to Postsecondary Education, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 28:1, 88-105
In this study the authors highlight the conceived roles of
occupational therapists by contrasting them with the conceived
roles of teachers in assisting students at risk of academic failure
in a continuation high school transition to postsecondary education. From analyzing transcripts of one-on-one semi-structured
interviews with five teachers of a continuation high school and
with seven occupational therapy staff in a life-skills training program, three themes emerged with relevance to the youths’ transition, which differentiated the teachers from the occupational
therapy staff. Both cohorts recognized college as the preferred path
to adult roles, but differed in regard to their view of the achievability of the goal for the at-risk youth served. Both cohorts identified
the youths’ personal behaviors as impediments to these youth meeting their goals. Teachers emphasized academics and occupational
therapy staff emphasized life skills when assisting the young people.
Occupational therapy staff’s interventions underscore hope and
support of students’ long-term goals with the aim of engaging these young people in short-term planned-action, which may be
beneficial to this population and warrants further study.
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