Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Steven Eberth

Second Advisor

Ben Atchison

Third Advisor

Nicole Lavery


Adults, developmental disabilities, Child-Centered Play Therapy, Person-Centered Play Therapy, emotional regulation, occupational therapy, exercise


Adults with developmental disabilities may employ maladaptive behaviors that stem from limited opportunities to interact with their community and non-nurturing interactions within their environment. This literature review explores the effects of play on maladaptive behaviors and provides a rationale that supports the use of PCPT to improve this population’s emotional regulation skills. More specifically, the sources indicate that activities containing exercise and games, improves the emotional regulation skills of this population. Based on the presented information, created cost effective activities will potentially improve these skills amongst adults with developmental disabilities. These activities that adhere to PCPT are basketball, water basketball, football, water football, and walking while playing catch. There is a need for research that will assess the activities’ effectiveness and more research to provide further knowledge on the effectiveness of PCPT. Implications to occupational therapy practice include: a nurturing environment to practice social skills, increased use of occupational therapy services within this population, and more research opportunities.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access