Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Mandy Meyer


Adolescent; Environment; Occupational Therapy -- methods


PURPOSE: The first purpose of this scholarly project was to address current trends in relation to adolescents’ increased reliance on technology, decreased exposure to natural settings, and utilization of nature in adolescent occupational therapy care. The second purpose of the scholarly project was to provide occupational therapists with an interventions guide for nature-based activities to be used with the adolescent population.

METHOD: A literature review was conducted on adolescents, technology and nature using PubMed, CINAHL, AJOT, OT Search, MESH, Google Scholar, and textbooks.

RESULTS: A review of the literature indicated that the target population, Generation Z, had grown up with increased exposure and availability to technology. Adolescents who engaged in online activities and video games were observed to have increased negative psychosocial and physical effects. With an increased reliance and dependence on technology a decrease in engagement in nature-based activities was observed. Nature has been found to have many positive physical and psychosocial effects. Therefore, occupational therapists can use nature as a medium to benefit adolescent clients physically and psychosocially.

CONCLUSION: Due to the decreased engagement in nature-based activities within Generation Z and the positive psychosocial and physical changes generated through nature-based activities, a manual was developed comprised of nature-based occupational therapy interventions. These interventions were designed for skilled occupational therapists to implement within adolescent group or individual therapy settings using the Person Environment Occupation Model to guide the intervention process. Many positive aspects of nature were incorporated into the therapeutic interventions and were an influential force in the development of this manual. The benefits of nature include but are not limited to: relaxation, restoration, and increased awareness to sensory stimulation and self. Therefore, the nature-based manual is a useful tool for occupational therapists to address these areas of concern.