Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sclinda Janssen


Parenting; Spinal Cord Injuries


Individuals with newly acquired spinal cord injuries (SCI) may experience fears of inadequacy with their ability to be parents. This is a problem due to the fact that the average age of individuals who acquire SCIs is between 16 and 30, the prime child bearing years (Martin, Hamilton, Sutton, Ventura, Mathews, & Osterman, 2010; Mathews & Hamilton, 2009). There is a lack of literature to address these fears by supporting and developing parenting skills for individuals with SCIs. The purpose of this scholarly project is to address the fears of individuals with SCIs and their abilities with parenting occupations, as well as the occupations of their children.

A literature review was conducted to identify parental options and concerns, current barriers, methods used for successful parenting, and resources available. To guide this scholarly project, the occupational adaptation (OA) model was utilized, as well as Bloom's taxonomy, andragogy, and Fink's methods for coursework design. OA was used because of the strong emphasis on building adaptive capacity that an individual with a SCI will need in order to perform meaningful parental occupations with their child (Cole & Tufano, 2008; Schkade & McClung, 2001).

A workshop was created to address concerns/fears, provide ideas and techniques, and supply additional resources for adapting parents' occupations. It also links the occupation of parenting with the child's occupation of play. This workshop was designed to be presented to individuals by occupational therapists (OT) due to their comprehensive knowledge and skill set regarding adaptation of everyday tasks and life roles within individuals with a SCI as well as their children.

It is recommended that this workshop also be used to train additional OTs who could then administer the workshop for expansion reasons. For continued improvement and tracking, it is recommended that evaluation outcome measures be utilized for research purposes. Overall, this workshop should be implemented at a substantial sized rehabilitation facility or SCI specialized facility at least annually or more if client needs are warranted.