Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Domestic violence is becoming more prevalent among African American female ages 16 to 24 years. Occupational therapists are trained health care professionals that are able to work with these individuals. This is topic has limited research within the field of occupational therapy; hence, this Capstone Project was conducted with nine adolescent female African American women ages from a local church in the West Palm Beach, Florida, area.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of an occupational therapy violence prevention program for young African American females ages 16 to 24, the age at which young women become most at-risk of domestic abuse.

Theoretical Framework: The principle frameworks guiding this study were the Occupational Justice Framework and Model of Human Occupation.

Methods: The methodology employed for this study was a mixed method that used a combination of qualitative and quantitative data that were gathered from focus groups, pre-post assessments, and an interview.

Results: Based on the data from the pre and post tests, interview, and focus groups, the participants were made aware of signs to look for in order not to become victims of domestic violence as well the resources that are available should they become victims. Analysis from the pre and post test revealed that the change in score from the initial assessment to the post-test was statistically significant for one out of nine participants when tested on a 95% confidence level (p=. 001). Seven themes were gathered from the qualitative study employment skills, budgeting, leisure, empowerment, relationships, self-esteem, and lessons learned in which the participants expressed increased knowledge and understanding of this topic area.

Conclusion: The Capstone Project shows that although African American females are at risk of being victims of domestic violence, they do not have to succumb to the pressure and conditions created by the perpetuators. With proper education and intervention, many can be helped to overcome this predicament, or locate the proper resources should they become victims. This intervention program was conducted to study occupational therapy’s potential role in prevention of violence in young women. Through discussions, focus groups, and an interview, it was observed that some of the participants had a basic knowledge about domestic violence and violence prevention; however, by the end of the interventions, it was obvious that the participants understood how to prevent domestic violence. Occupational therapists use a holistic approach in treating clients and work with other health care personnel to create programs that are worthwhile for individuals that are predisposed to domestic violence. Hence, the results from this study can form the foundation for implementation of effective intervention for individuals who are at-risk for domestic violence.

Faculty Mentor

Amy Marshall

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

MaryEllen Thompson

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)