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The capstone project discusses disproportionate rates of disciplinary practices utilized in public education and examines the negative impact current disciplinary practices have on adolescent well-being, school climate, student engagement, and student outcomes. Public schools across the United States are utilizing exclusionary disciplinary practices wherein the consequence often is more extreme than necessary, influencing continued student misconduct, failing to address trauma and deficits in social-emotional skills, and limiting academic performance and participation for all students.

The purpose of this project is to inform occupational therapy practitioners of their potential roles in addressing school disciplinary practices to better support students in promoting positive behavior in the classroom, preventing misconduct, establishing appropriate social-emotional skills, and enhancing academic participation through a holistic and strengths-based approach. The capstone project was divided into phases including the data gathering phase, the writing phase, the peer review phase, and the revising phase.

The product of the capstone project is a concept paper for occupational therapy practitioners of the roles in which they may become involved in addressing school disciplinary practices. Occupational therapy practitioners are an asset to schools in improving disciplinary practices that foster active participation in their educational community and promote more effective school performance of the child. The capstone project urges school-based occupational therapy practitioners to consider their available role in addressing disciplinary practices to better enable the engagement of all children in public education.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent, Students, Academic Performance, Schools, Problem Behavior, Occupational Therapy


Child Psychology | Education | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Fall 2020 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on December 11, 2020.

The Role of Occupational Therapy in School Disciplinary Practices