Graduation Date

5-2019

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Program

Occupational Therapy

Program Chair

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Faculty Advisor

Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract

Dating is a widely practiced occupation by many individuals, especially the emerging adult, college student population. The primary objective of this research study was to develop a greater understanding of San Francisco (SF) Bay Area college students’ perception, practice, and occupational impact of dating. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with seven college students living in the SF Bay Area. Three themes emerged: the dating process, internal and external factors that influence dating, and personal growth from dating experiences. The data revealed that the emerging adult, college student population values dating and believes it can significantly impact their own development. However, this population considers dating to be confusing because of its complexity. These findings highlight implications in which occupational therapists can support the needs of college students of this generation who wish to participate in the occupation of dating.

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