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Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Occupational Therapy Life Skills Training for Juvenile Offenders in Foster Care
Author Affiliations
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rockhurst University
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Prevention and Intervention
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Occupational Therapy Life Skills Training for Juvenile Offenders in Foster Care
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911515236. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO7097
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911515236. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO7097
Abstract

Date Presented 4/18/2015

There is a lack of research examining the role of occupational therapists (OTs) in teaching independent living skills to at-risk youths. Results of this study were combined with the significant findings from a 2013 pilot study, in which the effectiveness of an occupational therapy life skills program for juvenile offenders in foster care was examined.

SIGNIFICANCE: Adolescent offenders and youths in foster care lack the life skills necessary to participate successfully in society. Occupational therapy is effective in helping populations develop the necessary skills for successful integration into the community. There is a gap in the literature regarding the importance of occupational therapy training in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) for at-risk youths. This study is adding to the significant results from a 2013 pilot study by Schriner et al. The client-centered program that we created focuses on the effectiveness of group life skills training for older youths in foster care and the juvenile justice system. The current study has the potential to widen the scope of occupational therapy services for at-risk youths to prepare them for independent living. In our hypothesis, we propose that the implementation of an occupational therapy life skills training program will increase the participants’ competency in daily life skills.
METHOD: In this pre–post, quasi-experimental study, we will administer the Ansell–Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) to participants who live in a residential facility within a Kansas City nonprofit organization. The inclusion criteria for participants will be that they must have a juvenile record and be enrolled in the foster care program at the organization. Participants will be excluded from the study if they are unable to speak English fluently or have any cognitive issues that would inhibit learning abilities. After scoring the preassessment, we will identify three primary deficit areas. Interventions will be created to provide interactive education and learning experiences for identified deficits.
The 2013 pilot study showed significant benefits in life skills proficiency from the occupational therapy interventions for adolescent offenders in foster care. A paired t test indicated that the areas of career and education planning, housing and money management, and work and study life significantly improved at a 95% confidence interval.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Results from pre- to postassessments on ACLSA demonstrate notable achievements in the following categories: career and education planning (20.44%), housing and money management (17.91%), as well as work and study life (15.60%). The overall percentage of improvement for the entire assessment was 11.54%. The assessment as a whole achieved a .001 significance level. In the fall of 2014, specific statistical analyses will be performed with results of both the 2013 and 2014 studies to determine further significant outcomes.
Although there are the limitations of a small sample size (less than 30 participants), all male participants, and one setting, the results from this study will more than likely demonstrate how an occupational therapy life skills training program can be beneficial to at-risk youths. We expect that the outcome of the current study, compounded with the pilot study results, will warrant future research with this population and will encourage future occupational therapy programming with this often neglected population.