Research spotlight: Occupational science and occupational therapy
The Latino Migration Project is pleased to share the work of UNC Chapel Hill students and faculty conducting research relating to Latin American/Latino migration. Sara Peña, M.S. Candidate in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Institute for the Study of the Americas program associate, conducted a study entitled, “Responsibility and Belonging: Exploring Adolescent Latino Male Soccer Social Group Identity.”
Latin American immigrants are a fast-growing segment of North Carolina residents, and the incorporation of youth into society is imperative in determining quality of life. Occupational therapists are qualified to address the needs of Latino adolescents as they navigate new social group occupations and identities; yet, to date, there is limited evidence exploring this practice. This study explores how the social group occupation of playing on a school soccer team influences identity. Participants included Latino male middle school soccer players who live in a rural community. The author used a grounded-theory qualitative research methodology, which allowed for the participants to be the experts in their experiences and have the theory emerge from data collected. A focus group was conducted and coded for themes. Implications contribute to an understanding of how Latino adolescent identity and school soccer come together, and suggest further studies regarding social group occupations and Latino adolescents.