Title

Attributes of Meaningful Occupation in Real-Time

Presenter Information

Bonnie L. Kennedy

Start Time

25-10-2008 9:40 AM

End Time

25-10-2008 10:10 AM

Abstract

Occupational science scholars often speak of meaning, "meaningful occupation" as essential to health, but what does "meaning" mean? Literature in occupational science and other disciplines recognize that meaning is created at the levels of civilization, community, and individual experience. Humans create both meaning and their state of health through occupation as their transaction with the environment. This study examines individuals' subjectively experienced meaning in occupations as it occurs in real time. Findings from this study could be used to design more meaningful health promoting occupations for daily living. Participants in this study carried electronic diaries daily for a week to record their appraisals of their daily occupations. They were signaled on a stratified random schedule to reply to a structured questionnaire six times per day for seven days. This Ecological Experience Sampling (EES) method provided 3195 self observations of daily activities from 143 college students. Meaningful activity was appraised on desirability, level of interest, pleasure, satisfaction, success, and challenge. Highly meaningful activities were found to be the most interesting, desirable, pleasurable, satisfying and successful experiences of occupation. Identification of these attributes of meaningful occupation sheds light on the content of the experience. Selecting and shaping health promoting occupations should take these attributes into consideration. Further testing that addresses the relative impact of each of the attributes is suggested along with broader exploration of attributes of the experience of meaningful occupation in real time.

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Oct 25th, 9:40 AM Oct 25th, 10:10 AM

Attributes of Meaningful Occupation in Real-Time

Occupational science scholars often speak of meaning, "meaningful occupation" as essential to health, but what does "meaning" mean? Literature in occupational science and other disciplines recognize that meaning is created at the levels of civilization, community, and individual experience. Humans create both meaning and their state of health through occupation as their transaction with the environment. This study examines individuals' subjectively experienced meaning in occupations as it occurs in real time. Findings from this study could be used to design more meaningful health promoting occupations for daily living. Participants in this study carried electronic diaries daily for a week to record their appraisals of their daily occupations. They were signaled on a stratified random schedule to reply to a structured questionnaire six times per day for seven days. This Ecological Experience Sampling (EES) method provided 3195 self observations of daily activities from 143 college students. Meaningful activity was appraised on desirability, level of interest, pleasure, satisfaction, success, and challenge. Highly meaningful activities were found to be the most interesting, desirable, pleasurable, satisfying and successful experiences of occupation. Identification of these attributes of meaningful occupation sheds light on the content of the experience. Selecting and shaping health promoting occupations should take these attributes into consideration. Further testing that addresses the relative impact of each of the attributes is suggested along with broader exploration of attributes of the experience of meaningful occupation in real time.