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online social networking, environmental sustainability, occupational habits


Occupational Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy


This study explored the effectiveness of an online social networking group on the development of occupational habits that promote environmental sustainability. Methods: A single group, non-randomized, pre/posttest design was utilized. Participants were adults located primarily in the Midwest region of the U.S. who enrolled in an eight-week online program through the social networking platform, Facebook. Each week the group was exposed to occupational engagement topics which promoted environmentally conscious lifestyles. To assess behavior change, using a Social Cognitive approach, weekly surveys developed by the research team were used to track behavior change. Pre/post assessments included the Lifestyle and Habits Questionnaire-Brief Version and the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP). Results: Seventeen participants were recruited for this study. To be included for data analysis, participants were required to complete four of the eight weekly surveys. Eleven participants met these criteria. Survey results were collapsed for analysis, with scores ranging from 5 (Strongly Disagree) to 25 (Strongly Agree). Mean values ranged from M=8.36 to M=14.25. A Friedman's ANOVA indicated no significant difference in the weekly surveys, p=.60. Pre/posttest results were analyzed using Wilcoxon Sign Ranked Test to determine differences for each outcome of the Lifestyle Habits Questionnaire: health and exercise Z=-.67, p=.50, psychological health Z=-.18, p=.85, nutrition Z=.00, p=1.00, environmental concern Z=-.37, p=.72, social concern Z=-1.63, p=.10, accident prevention/safety Z=-.27, p=.79, and sense of purpose Z=-1.41, p=.16. The NEP was collapsed and analyzed as a single scale using a Wilcoxon Sign Ranked Test, indicating Z= -1.6, p=.12. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that behavior change is complex and requires more than online accountability to fully achieve. While participants had positive perceptions of the program, few reported lasting changes to lifestyle habits, motivation to change, or occupational performance. Weekly data collection did not indicate significant behavioral change, though it is possible individual perceptions changed.

First Advisor

Whitney Lucas Molitor

Research Area

Occupational Therapy