Life Experiences of Young Adults Who have Coordination Difficulties
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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.
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