Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Lavonne Fox


Nonverbal Communication; Power (Psychology)


Objectives. This pilot study used a quasi-experimental repeated measures design to explore the affect of power posing on Occupational Therapy student performance when conducting interventions with clients. The study was conducted in an attempt to determine an effective strategy used to enhance student therapist performance to support occupational adaptation in school and during the transition to entry-level clinician.

Method. Second year occupational therapy students (n = 10) from the University of North Dakota at the Casper, WY site and practicing clinicians (n = 10) from the community of Casper participated in the study. The student therapists conducted two interventions on a randomly paired clinician playing the role of the client. After the first intervention, the student therapist power posed for a total of two minutes and conducted a second intervention on the same client. Both the student therapist and client rated the student’s performance after each intervention to determine changes in performance factors before and after power posing.

Results. Statistical analysis confirmed a significant difference in student therapist performance from the first intervention to the second. Overall, participants rated student therapist performance higher after power posing and demonstrated similar rating progressions throughout.

Conclusion. Power posing for two minutes has a positive impact on a student therapist performance when implementing interventions; by increasing confidence and priming students for potentially challenging and stressful situations that may be new and novel for them. This is particularly beneficial for students to use as a strategy to overcome occupational challenges and performance concerns experienced in school and during the transition into practice.