Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Rising youth public health disparities can be attributed to the social determinants of health that influence health and wellness. Youth sport providers can be influential in creating healthier environments that facilitate positive youth development, positively impacting life-long healthy behaviors.

Purpose: The purpose of this Capstone Project was to explore youth sport provider’s perceptions, after completing an educational module, of their capacity to implement positive youth development and to create a health-promoting environment. Theoretical Framework. The Model of Human Occupation and the Transtheoretical Model of Behavioral Change guided this project’s assumption that the multicontextual environment’s influence on the process of occupation is a critical core component of societal health and well-being.

Methods. A qualitative descriptive approach allowed for purposive sampling, inductive thematic analysis, and flexible, multiple source data collection. Participants were given two weeks to review an educational module before completing a semi-structured interview. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed until themes emerged.

Results. Thematic analysis produced the following themes: (1) health-promotion education facilitates occupational balance, (2) occupational identity enhances the social and cultural environment, and (3) supporting occupational behaviors promotes positive youth development. Themes represented an interdependent relationship to participants’ capacity to change their environment. Conclusions: Research exploring sport providers occupational identity, behaviors, and capacity for change can better inform the occupational therapy profession on how to best motivate, advocate, and empower change in public health. Occupation-based interventions, education, and policymaking utilizing valued leisure occupations can create healthier physical, social, and cultural environments for youth athletes.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Camille Skubik-Peplaski, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Dr. Shirley O'Brien, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy