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HEAA313: Research 2
An Oral Defence of Research
STUDENT NUMBER: 10230458
TUESDAY 14TH JANUARY 2014
An exploration of first year undergraduate students’
engagement in social occupations during ‘Freshers’ week’.
To explore and analyse students’ experiences of social
occupations during Freshers’ week
To establish what social occupations
students’ engaged in during Freshers’
To explore why students’ engaged in
particular occupations and the
Background and Rationale for the Study
Researchers interested in the student population
Student experience of social occupations during Freshers’ week
is absent in previous literature – highlights a possible new area
Potentially interesting correlations with the ‘Dark Side of
Occupation’ (Twinley, 2013)
Appraisal of Relevant Literature
• Occupation widely explored in contemporary
• Central to identity and performance
health and well-being
•What of occupation that is harmful to health and well-
•Considering the broader consequences of occupation
The Dark Side of
• Research focuses on alcohol consumption during
• Motivation, stereotype and academic achievement
•Little evidence to suggest the motives behind student
•How does social occupation impact occupational balance?
(Yerxa et al, 1989; Creek &
Hughes, 2008; Reed,
Hocking & Smythe, 2013)
(Hudson & Aoyama, 2008;
Hammell, 2009; Kiepek &
Magalhaes, 2011; Twinley &
Addidle, 2012; )
(Shamloo & Cox, 2010;
Heather et al, 2011; Palfai &
(Cooke et al, 2004; Wilson &
Wilcock, 2005; Pentland &
McColl, 2008; Tieu et al,
Exploratory study of
meaning and self-defined
. Convenience sample
. Poster recruitment at 2
. Semi-structured interviews
. Data thematically analysed,
coded and themed
. Ethically approved
. Written informed consent
. Confidentiality and
Engagement in Social Occupations
• Day time occupations
• Night time occupations
• Alcohol related occupations
• University organised events
• Non-university organised events
• Sports and societies
Motivational Factors for Participation in Social Occupations
• Personal interest – motivation
• Opportunity to meet new people
• Advertisement of events
• No other commitments
Barriers to Participation in Social Occupations
• Personal interest – barriers
• Lack of knowledge of events
• Logistical Factors
• Course commitments
• Financial commitments
Expectation and Reflection
• Health and well-being
• Preconceived ideas of Freshers’ week
• Introduction to university
• Comparison of other universities/ cultures
• Lifestyle and independent choices
• Post Freshers’ week thoughts
• Suggestions for improving Freshers’ week 7
Alcohol Related Occupations
- Considered positive despite negative connotations (Kisic-Tepavcevic et al, 2013)
- Creates opportunity to form friendships (LaBrie, Grant & Hummer, 2011)
- Knowingly engaged despite knowledge of negative effects on health and well-being
- Aligns with emerging literature (Twinley, 2013)
University / Course Commitments
- Vocational courses – missed out on opportunities due to workload
(Palfai & Ralston, 2011)
- Freshers’ week more of a ‘social event’ for those on a non-vocational course
- Location of campus – logistical constraints
Preconceived Ideas of Freshers’ Week
- Friends and family
- The media – ‘drinking culture’ (Freshers, 2013)
- Considered an impeding factor to participation
- Expense of joining sports and societies – could not afford due to accommodation
and living costs
- Potential impact on occupational balance – reduced leisure activity (Wilson &
Advertisement of Events
- Alcohol related events advertised more than other events- contributing factor to
- Missed out on opportunities
- University could invest more time in promoting a wider range of events
- Provide greater breadth of opportunity
- Participation in alcohol related occupations not considered
sustainable – financially or in terms of health and well-being
- Engaging in more sustainable occupations can promote increased
engagement to achieve occupational balance (Hocking &
Implications for Practice
How can this study impact
the occupational therapy
emerging job role for
in the university sector –
Education and promotion of
sustainable occupations for
the student and wider
Work with institutions in designing a varied programme of
accessible and sustainable student events
• Small sample –
• Not ethnically
• Participants all of
Further Research –
• Participants from
Further Research –
larger sample from a
range of universities • Possible
• May have limited
Further Research –
Have met the aims and objectives of the study
Identified motivational factors and barriers to participation
Forms an initial basis of research to take forward
Highlights valuable contribution of occupational therapy
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