Credentials Display

Alexis M. F. Morin, OTD, MOT, OTR/L

Jennifer E. Lape, OTD, OTR/L


Background: Foster youth endure traumatic adversities, which can lead to obstacles when transitioning to young adulthood and pursuing postsecondary education. This vulnerable population is required to navigate independent living while also managing stress that commonly arises from postsecondary education.

Method: A pre test, post test pilot design was employed to determine the potential impact and feasibility of an evidenced-based multi-factorial stress management program in reducing foster youth’s perceived stress during postsecondary education. Participants (n = 3) received one, 90-min individual occupational therapy session weekly over 6 weeks. Author-generated stress management surveys along with the Perceived Stress Scale were administered pre and post intervention.

Results: Outcomes reveal this cost-effective program may be feasible in decreasing foster youth’s perceived stress. All participants’ individual Perceived Stress Scale scores decreased over the course of the intervention. Two out of three participants demonstrated a decrease in perceived academic stress while one participant’s perceived academic stress remained the same from pre to post intervention.

Conclusion: Considerations for future programs include flexibility in scheduling, addressing time management challenges with this population, and integration of trauma-informed care principles.