Title

What is Occupational Engagement?

Presenter Information

Karen Burgess

Start Time

29-10-2004 2:30 PM

End Time

29-10-2004 4:00 PM

Abstract

This paper aims to:

  • Critically evaluate the development of the concept of occupational engagement
  • Critically appraise the literature related to occupational engagement from a social constructionist perspective
  • Propose a definition of occupational engagement

The lack of formal definition of occupational engagement is potentially problematic for both occupational therapists and occupational scientists. Without it, it is not possible for researchers to be clear that they are exploring the same or related concepts. Readers of research also need clear definitions to help frame the information in relation to their own understanding of the concept. Reilly (1962) is often quoted (for example Brienes 1995; Christiansen, Little, and Backman 1998; Cook and Howe 2003; Cynkin and Robinson 1990; Dunn 2001; Emerson et al., 1998) as stressing the importance of engaging in occupation as being important for physical and mental wellbeing. She is considered to be one of the founders of modern occupational therapy. However, this claim is often only stated and very little research has been published which attempts to define the term or test its credibility.

Some authors appear to consider engagement‚ as an observable entity, whilst others discuss it as a construct. Several authors refer to occupational engagement‚ or engagement in occupation. Engagement‚ is sometimes used interchangeably with participation‚ or one word is used to define the other, for example Kie lhofner (2002b) defines occupational participation as “Engagement in work, play, or activities of daily living that are part of one’s sociocultural context and that are desired and/or necessary to one‚s well-being.” (p122). Therefore it is important to clarify any difference between the two terms from an occupational perspective in order to define occupational engagement.

It is acknowledged that occupational engagement is a complex, subjective and multifaceted concept which needs careful investigation to understand fully. The etymologies of relevant words will be explored and this, in conjunction with the literature, will be used to formulate a conceptual framework to define occupational engagement for future research.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 29th, 2:30 PM Oct 29th, 4:00 PM

What is Occupational Engagement?

This paper aims to:

  • Critically evaluate the development of the concept of occupational engagement
  • Critically appraise the literature related to occupational engagement from a social constructionist perspective
  • Propose a definition of occupational engagement

The lack of formal definition of occupational engagement is potentially problematic for both occupational therapists and occupational scientists. Without it, it is not possible for researchers to be clear that they are exploring the same or related concepts. Readers of research also need clear definitions to help frame the information in relation to their own understanding of the concept. Reilly (1962) is often quoted (for example Brienes 1995; Christiansen, Little, and Backman 1998; Cook and Howe 2003; Cynkin and Robinson 1990; Dunn 2001; Emerson et al., 1998) as stressing the importance of engaging in occupation as being important for physical and mental wellbeing. She is considered to be one of the founders of modern occupational therapy. However, this claim is often only stated and very little research has been published which attempts to define the term or test its credibility.

Some authors appear to consider engagement‚ as an observable entity, whilst others discuss it as a construct. Several authors refer to occupational engagement‚ or engagement in occupation. Engagement‚ is sometimes used interchangeably with participation‚ or one word is used to define the other, for example Kie lhofner (2002b) defines occupational participation as “Engagement in work, play, or activities of daily living that are part of one’s sociocultural context and that are desired and/or necessary to one‚s well-being.” (p122). Therefore it is important to clarify any difference between the two terms from an occupational perspective in order to define occupational engagement.

It is acknowledged that occupational engagement is a complex, subjective and multifaceted concept which needs careful investigation to understand fully. The etymologies of relevant words will be explored and this, in conjunction with the literature, will be used to formulate a conceptual framework to define occupational engagement for future research.