Purpose: Participation difficulties among adults with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) have been documented. However, little attention has been given to the subjective aspects of participation, also called occupational experience, including feeling during engagement in activities and their meaning. This study aimed to explore the occupational experience of young adults with DCD. Materials and methods: Informed by the phenomenological approach, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 young adults with DCD. Findings: Three themes emerged: (1) Complexity of occupational experience; describes the motives for participation, with variations in experience across activities and individuals. Participants engage in activities that provide them with pleasure and fulfillment, while other activities require constant effort and cause stress and shame; (2) The role of internal factors; illustrates the influence of poor motor and organizational/planning skills, self-acceptance; and utilizing strategies on the participants’ occupational experience; and (3) The role of the social environment; reveals the participants’ dual perception of their environment–as a source of criticism as well as a source of support. Conclusions: Individuals with DCD may benefit from intervention during young adulthood to enhance their well-being. The interventions should target their subjective occupational experiences in addition to their objective performance difficulties, by enhancing their psycho-social resources.
- Developmental coordination disorder
- subjective participation
- young adulthood
ASJC Scopus subject areas