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Middle school aged children are in a vulnerable developmental period that pose challenges toward maintaining a positive body image. Consequently, body image can be a mental health concern that can lead to a decrease in occupational performance in education, leisure, and social participation.

School settings currently do not have the appropriate resources or mental health initiatives to address occupational performance problems related to body image with middle school aged youth. However, occupational therapists (OTs) have the potential to provide mental health services to address body image in school and community settings that promote skills needed for meaningful participation in education, leisure, and socializing.

The purpose of this capstone project was to demonstrate OT’s value in promoting body positivity through sensory and social emotional learning (SEL) approaches. This capstone experience revealed that school mental health initiatives can recognize how body image can be implemented as tier 1 interventions to promote performance in education, leisure, and social participation with an entire student body.

Publication Date

Spring 4-24-2023


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


occupational therapy, body image, school-based occupational therapy, mental health initiatives, body image, middle school aged youth, interoception, emotional regulation

Medical Subject Headings

Students, Body Image, Pediatrics, Self-Regulation, Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy | Public Health Education and Promotion


Poster presented at the Spring 2023 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 4 and April 12, 2023.

An Occupational Therapy Approach to Promote Body Positivity in Middle School Aged Youth