Title

Children’s participation in the co-occupation of play: Concepts, meanings and relevance to the field of occupational science

Start Time

21-10-2011 1:35 PM

End Time

21-10-2011 2:05 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Intent: This theoretical paper summarizes the discourse on the co-occupation of play among children in historical and current occupational science (OS) and occupational therapy literature (OT). Literature from the fields of psychology, anthropology, education and sociology will also be analyzed to frame and bring to light the ways in which OS can contribute to this complex topic. The co-occupation of play has been researched in the relationships between adult and children, and mainly from a developmental perspective. It is necessary however to investigate the co-occupation play from an OS perspective and understand how these important interactions among children impact their health and wellbeing. This paper seeks to understand play as an occupation for both children with and without disabilities, and strives to understand the unique culture of childhood. The aim of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of how children as a unique culture co-construct the occupation of play from an OS science perspective.

Argument: Play is a primary occupation of children, and an important factor in a child’s health, wellbeing and development. Play needs to be further explored as a co-occupation among children that is experienced as a whole, in a specific time and context. This will allow for a deeper understanding of what constitutes the co-occupation of play, and how it is experienced by larger social groups. Analyzing the discourse of play and the co-occupation of play reveals the way in which we view the purpose of this important occupation, and how we understand the culture of childhood.

Importance to Occupational Science: Investigating the co-occupation of play will help to bring forward the social structures, interactions and roles negotiated between children and between children and adults. Due to the complex and dynamic nature of co-occupation and play, it is impossible to fully understand its importance from the perspective of only one discipline. The field of OS can offer a unique and relevant “slice of knowledge” that can be added to the others insights/knowledge claims emerging from psychology, sociology, education, and anthropology.

Conclusion: Through analyzing the discourse from past and current literature we can gain insights into the role that OS can contribute to the understanding of the co-occupation of play among children.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What influences the way in which we co-construct occupations with children?
  2. How are the co-occupations between children vs. between adult and child different?
  3. What is the relationship between co-occupations and childhood development- how can we look at the influence of co-occupations and childhood development from an occupational perspective?

References

Dickie, V. Cutchin, M.P. & Humphry, R. (2006). Occupation as transactional experience: A critique of individualism in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 13(1), 83-93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2006.9686573

Humphry, R. (2005). Model of processes transforming occupations: Exploring society and social influences. Journal of Occupational Science, 12(1), 36-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2005.9686546

Lawlor, M. C. (2003). The significance of being occupied: The social construction of childhood occupations. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 424–434. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.57.4.424

Peirce, D. (2009). Co-occupation: The challenges of defining concepts original to occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(3), 203-207. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2009.9686663

Price, P. & Miner Stephenson, S. (2009). Learning to promote occupational development through co-occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(3), 180-186. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2009.9686660

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Theoretical paper

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Oct 21st, 1:35 PM Oct 21st, 2:05 PM

Children’s participation in the co-occupation of play: Concepts, meanings and relevance to the field of occupational science

Intent: This theoretical paper summarizes the discourse on the co-occupation of play among children in historical and current occupational science (OS) and occupational therapy literature (OT). Literature from the fields of psychology, anthropology, education and sociology will also be analyzed to frame and bring to light the ways in which OS can contribute to this complex topic. The co-occupation of play has been researched in the relationships between adult and children, and mainly from a developmental perspective. It is necessary however to investigate the co-occupation play from an OS perspective and understand how these important interactions among children impact their health and wellbeing. This paper seeks to understand play as an occupation for both children with and without disabilities, and strives to understand the unique culture of childhood. The aim of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of how children as a unique culture co-construct the occupation of play from an OS science perspective.

Argument: Play is a primary occupation of children, and an important factor in a child’s health, wellbeing and development. Play needs to be further explored as a co-occupation among children that is experienced as a whole, in a specific time and context. This will allow for a deeper understanding of what constitutes the co-occupation of play, and how it is experienced by larger social groups. Analyzing the discourse of play and the co-occupation of play reveals the way in which we view the purpose of this important occupation, and how we understand the culture of childhood.

Importance to Occupational Science: Investigating the co-occupation of play will help to bring forward the social structures, interactions and roles negotiated between children and between children and adults. Due to the complex and dynamic nature of co-occupation and play, it is impossible to fully understand its importance from the perspective of only one discipline. The field of OS can offer a unique and relevant “slice of knowledge” that can be added to the others insights/knowledge claims emerging from psychology, sociology, education, and anthropology.

Conclusion: Through analyzing the discourse from past and current literature we can gain insights into the role that OS can contribute to the understanding of the co-occupation of play among children.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What influences the way in which we co-construct occupations with children?
  2. How are the co-occupations between children vs. between adult and child different?
  3. What is the relationship between co-occupations and childhood development- how can we look at the influence of co-occupations and childhood development from an occupational perspective?