Marinthea Richter OTD
Faculty Mentor: Bobbi Pineda PhD, OTR/L, CNT
Research Lab: NICU Therapy Lab
Year of Entry: 2020
I am currently a PhD student in the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy working under the guidance of Dr. Bobbi Pineda. My research interest relates to the neurodevelopmental outcomes of high-risk infants and early intervention focusing on neonates. I became interested in this field during my clinical experience as an Occupational Therapist in South Africa, where I worked in pediatric acute care and outpatients at a large tertiary hospital. My current role as a PhD student is to support Dr. Pineda’s work related to the Supporting and Enhancing Neonatal Sensory Experience program (SENSE), and her research on the neurodevelopmental outcomes of premature infants admitted in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. My long term goal is to return to South Africa and continue with research on factors that may influence the neurodevelopmental outcomes for NICU survivors in developing countries.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2020 | University of Southern California
Masters in Early Childhood Intervention (MECI)
2017 | University of Pretoria
Bachelors in Occupational Therapy (BOT)
2012 | University of Pretoria
Donnelly, M. R., Fukumura, Y. E., & Richter, M. (2021). Untapped sources of contextualized knowledge: Exploring occupational disruption during COVID-19 as showcased through YouTube parodies. Journal of Occupational Science. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2021.1991841 Show abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic led to stay-at-home mandates and lockdowns around the globe. During this time of occupational disruption and social distancing measures, many engaged through online environments. Social media are ever-increasing hosts of occupation and participation, rich with research opportunities. In this study, we explored COVID-19 experiences by analyzing parody videos posted on YouTube by various content creators. We analyzed the lyrics of 27 viral videos (accrued 1 million or more views) by 20 content creators. Using a transactional framework, we identified five themes related to occupational disruption in the lyrics and explored the polarity of the concepts within each theme: old norms vs. new normal, time expanded vs. time condensed, control seeking vs. lack of control, social isolation vs. excess socialization, and cynicism vs. hope. Our findings demonstrated the complex transactions between previous habits and routines, changing spaces of occupation, and meaning of daily occupations within evolving social, economic, and physical contexts. While this study showcased YouTube videos as one untapped source of contextualized knowledge for occupational science, there is a need for further exploration of methodological and ethical challenges of studying digital content.
Meether, M., Bush, C. N., Richter, M., & Pineda, R. (2021). Neurobehavior of very preterm infants at term equivalent age is related to early childhood outcomes. Acta Paediatrica, 110(4), 1181-1188. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.15595 Show abstract
Aim. To describe neurodevelopmental outcomes during early childhood among infants born very preterm and define the relationships between neurobehavior of very preterm infants and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 4 years.
Methods. Forty‐eight infants born ≤32 weeks gestation had neurobehavior assessed at term equivalent age using the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS). Outcomes at 4 years were assessed with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ‐3), the Sensory Profile – Short Form (SF), and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Preschool version (BRIEF‐P).
Results. At 4 years, 23 (48%) children had at least one below average score on the ASQ‐3, 15 (31%) had a below average total score on the Sensory Profile‐SF, and 3 (6%) had an abnormal total score on the BRIEF‐P. Children with lower fine motor scores at 4 years had poorer orientation (p=.03) and self‐regulation (p=.03), hypertonia (p=.01), and more sub‐optimal reflexes (p=.02) as neonates. Children with lower gross motor scores at 4 years of age had more sub-optimal reflexes (p=.03) and lethargy (p=.046) as neonates. Children with tactile sensitivity at 4 years of age had poorer orientation (p=.01) and tolerance of handling (p=.03) as neonates. Children with decreased responsiveness at 4 years of age had low arousal (p=.02) as neonates, and those with poor auditory filtering at age 4 years had hypotonia (p=.03) as neonates.
Conclusion. Early neurobehavior is related to neurodevelopmental outcome in early childhood.
Stein Duker, L. I., Richter, M., Lane, C. J., Polido, J. C., & Cermak, S. A. (2020). Oral care experiences and challenges for children with Down syndrome: Reports from caregivers. Pediatric Dentistry, 42(6), 430-435. Full text Show abstract
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the oral care experiences and challenges encountered by children with Down syndrome.
Methods. Participants were 372 parents of five- to 14-year-olds with Down syndrome. Parents completed a 48-item questionnaire designed by the authors to elicit information about oral care in the home and dental office. Descriptive statistics were used to examine oral care variables.
Results. Parents reported difficulty across almost all oral care variables, including oral care in the home, oral care at the dentist, and access to oral care. Approximately one-third of parent respondents reported that toothbrushing was difficult and brushing occurred four or fewer days a week. Over half of the respondents reported that it was difficult to have a dental professional clean their child's teeth, uncooperative behaviors and sensory sensitivities increased in the office, and those behaviors and sensitivities made care challenging. Most respondents reported having a dental home for their child, that it was difficult locating their dentist, and that finances limited visits.
Conclusions. Children with Down syndrome experience difficulties and barriers to care in both the home and dental office settings.