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Hills, C., Ryan, S., Smith, D.R., Warren-Forward, H.
The Irish Journal Of Occupational Therapy
The lifestyles of ‘Generation Y’ undergraduate occupational therapy students: Educational considerations
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BACKGROUND: ‘Generation Y’ students are those born between 1982 and 2000. Generational theorists have proposed that this group have  unique ‘characteristics’ due to the societal influences during their formative years, in particular their preference for technology, which they have assimilated into their daily lives. Consequentially, their preferred teaching and learning preferences are said to differ from older generations. The relationship between their lifestyle and educational methods does not appear to have been previously explored. OBJECTIVE: To compare the lifestyle of one cohort of Occupational Therapy students at an Australian University with the ‘Generational Y’ profile. METHODS: A hard copy survey was developed based on ‘Generation Y’ themes identified in the literature and delivered to occupational therapy student lectures. RESULTS: Ninety two, (40%) of students responded. All students owned a computer, with 78% accessing Facebook daily. Most students lived at home with parents and were not in regular contact with older people or young children. Most worked to fund their leisure activities, which included reading regularly but did not include playing computer games or volunteering.CONCLUSION: Some aspects of students’ lifestyles indicated similarities to the ‘Generation Y’ profile, with the exception of some leisure activities. Service learning and use of technology are discussed as teaching and learning strategies.
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