Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify middle school students’ perceptions of unstructured time by determining physical and leisure activities the students would want to have available for their use at school.

METHOD: A researcher developed questionnaire (Students’ Leisure Time Questionnaire) was used to interview 23 middle school students (ages 11 to 15) regarding their perceptions of activities during unstructured time. A phenomenological design was used, incorporating open-ended qualitative questions.

RESULTS: The students were able to identify activities in which they would like to participate during their unstructured time at school. Students primarily indicated football and basketball as preferred physical activities and listening to music as a preferred leisure activity. The available resources for student use were limited to a basketball, basketball court, and a football which may have affected the students’ responses.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study could be used to implement a program that would allow students to participate in activities that they identified during the interviews. By incorporating the students’ preferences into a new program, an occupational therapist may be able to more effectively engage the students in activities that are motivating and engaging for students.

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