Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L

First Reader

Janice Davis, PhD, OTR/L


Background:The legacy of apartheid is apparent in the lack of educational resources for Black South African high school students and the occupational deprivation they experience.

Objectives of Study: To collect data on students’ perceptions of career choice in township high schools, barriers prohibiting students from engaging in a career of choice, students’ learning and listening strategies and their general hopefulness.

Methods:Non-experimental, descriptive study using both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis strategies.

Findings:A significant difference was found based on gender in relation to having career options and with regard to how knowledge about careers is gained. Despite occupational deprivation, students are hopeful about the future.

Relevance to Clinical Practice: Occupational deprivation is a risk factor for South African youth living in disadvantaged communities.

Limitations: Results are from two township high schools in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. English as a second language may have influenced data analysis. Other limitations identified were the participants’ lack of exposure with likert scales and time contraints to complete surveys.

Recommendations for Further Research: Explore culturally sound career assessments, further listening and learning research, and evaluate the effectiveness of a mentorship program