Title

Developing Knowledge on Adolescent Participation in Occupation in Contemporary Ireland

Presenter Information

Eithne Hunt, University College Cork

Start Time

28-10-2005 10:35 AM

End Time

28-10-2005 12:15 PM

Abstract

Occupational scientists and occupational therapists recognize the complex relationships among persons, environments and participation in occupations. The blend of daily occupations or patterns of participation created and experienced by individuals, and their influence on health and well-being is the subject of increasing popular and scholarly attention. Knowledge development on what constitutes a healthful blend of daily occupations is necessary to promote health and well-being at individual and population level.

In Ireland, the context of participation in daily occupations has experienced dramatic social, cultural and economic change in the latter part of the 20th century and into the new millennium. In the period 1971 to 2002, the population of Ireland has grown by almost one-third to reach nearly four million. Ireland’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world. Unemployment has dropped to historically low levels. These changes in Irish society have had dramatic effects on the health of the nation. The health of adolescents, in particular, has been the subject of increasing public, professional and political attention. Adolescent alcohol misuse, youth suicide and obesity are matters of national concern. Many recent Irish strategy documents now identify adolescents as a target population for health promotion and risk prevention. However, little is known about the occupational nature of adolescents in contemporary Ireland, how they spend their time and the rounds of daily occupations in which they participate.

This paper will explore current literature on occupational blend, lifestyle balance, time use and health amongst adolescents. A preliminary conceptual framework will be presented for debate. This framework will guide the design of a doctoral research study that will explore such questions as: How do Irish adolescents define health? What do they perceive to be their needs? How have changes in socio-cultural context influenced the health of Irish adolescents? What constitutes a healthful blend of occupations for Irish adolescents? With this knowledge, adolescents can be educated and supported to engage in a daily round of occupations that enhance their health, meet their needs and enable them to balance the demands of a 21st century lifestyle.

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Oct 28th, 10:35 AM Oct 28th, 12:15 PM

Developing Knowledge on Adolescent Participation in Occupation in Contemporary Ireland

Occupational scientists and occupational therapists recognize the complex relationships among persons, environments and participation in occupations. The blend of daily occupations or patterns of participation created and experienced by individuals, and their influence on health and well-being is the subject of increasing popular and scholarly attention. Knowledge development on what constitutes a healthful blend of daily occupations is necessary to promote health and well-being at individual and population level.

In Ireland, the context of participation in daily occupations has experienced dramatic social, cultural and economic change in the latter part of the 20th century and into the new millennium. In the period 1971 to 2002, the population of Ireland has grown by almost one-third to reach nearly four million. Ireland’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world. Unemployment has dropped to historically low levels. These changes in Irish society have had dramatic effects on the health of the nation. The health of adolescents, in particular, has been the subject of increasing public, professional and political attention. Adolescent alcohol misuse, youth suicide and obesity are matters of national concern. Many recent Irish strategy documents now identify adolescents as a target population for health promotion and risk prevention. However, little is known about the occupational nature of adolescents in contemporary Ireland, how they spend their time and the rounds of daily occupations in which they participate.

This paper will explore current literature on occupational blend, lifestyle balance, time use and health amongst adolescents. A preliminary conceptual framework will be presented for debate. This framework will guide the design of a doctoral research study that will explore such questions as: How do Irish adolescents define health? What do they perceive to be their needs? How have changes in socio-cultural context influenced the health of Irish adolescents? What constitutes a healthful blend of occupations for Irish adolescents? With this knowledge, adolescents can be educated and supported to engage in a daily round of occupations that enhance their health, meet their needs and enable them to balance the demands of a 21st century lifestyle.