Life Experiences of Young Adults Who have Coordination Difficulties Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Background. Little is known about the impact of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) during adolescence and young adulthood. Purpose. This study explored the lived experiences of a nonclinical sample of nine university students who reported having significant coordination difficulties. Methods. A phenomenological approach was used that included two in-depth interviews asking participants to recall retrospectively their experiences throughout adolescence. Transcripts were coded to identify themes, and member-checking supported the credibility of findings. Findings. Strong pathways of resilience were found with participants who employed cognitive and behavioural strategies to manage their motor differences. Key themes emerged related to managing coordination differences including avoidance/withdrawal/adaptation, seeking compatible activities, using humour, and persevering. As adolescents matured, changing social contexts affected their self-efficacy and others' perceptions of them. Implications. The findings of this study challenge occupational therapists to move beyond impairment-based interventions to ecological interventions that facilitate social and community participation.

publication date

  • June 2008