Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Research

First Advisor

Cheryl Hunter


Occupational therapy programs are currently pursuing the transition to an entry-level occupational therapy doctorate (OTD). Due to the novel change with this population, minimal research exists on how faculty are understanding and constructing a process to manage stress, promote wellbeing, and foster self-efficacy for themselves and the benefit of students during this time of transition. The concepts of habituation and social cognitive theory frame inquiry and understanding of the research problem for the development of a constructivist grounded theory study. A total of nine faculty and staff members at a Midwest OT program in the midst of programmatic change to an entry-level OTD consented to partake in data collection involving the New General Self-Efficacy Scale, semi-structured interviews, anonymous online focus groups, and program documents of policies, procedures, and syllabi. Categorical construction from three cycles of coding yielded a theorized process along with implications and recommendations. The participants asserted promoting self-care occupations are essential not just during programmatic change or distress but should be pervasive throughout the OTD program culture. Through communication of personal and professional identities, faculty are to be consciously considering what they are role modeling to students who are expected to enter the profession as self-efficacious practitioners making a difference in their communities. Therefore, in the midst of implementing educational programmatic change, a culture of communication and emphasis on self-care occupations may tend to empower faculty habituation for role modeling occupational balance for students. This study provides a model for faculty to consider when implementing programmatic change to an OTD.