Title

Understanding Co-Occupations: Exploring Infant Crying and the Revolving Interaction

Start Time

5-10-2012 12:25 PM

End Time

5-10-2012 12:55 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

This study explored the behaviors, actions, and emotions parents demonstrate when responding to infant crying. Using a qualitative research approach, data were collected through participant observations, a questionnaire, and field notes. The results of the analysis identified three major themes: The immediate response to crying, routines, and utilizing movement as a coping strategy. This study contributes to occupational science by exploring the parent’s perspective and their response to infant crying. Infant crying is viewed as a normal and developmental behavior expressed by infants. However, this normal behavior can be one of the most difficult and trying times for parents. Inconsolable infant crying is the precipitating factor of child abuse, specifically Shaken Baby Syndrome (Nakagawa & Conway, 2004). Caregiving or the reciprocal interaction between caregiver and infant are considered co-occupations that promote development (Olson, 2004), child abuse resulting in Shaken Baby Syndrome may be considered a non-health promoting co-occupation. In the current study, when an infant cries and a caregiver interacted with the infant to calm them, the ensuring interaction was viewed as a health promoting co-occupation. Through analysis of the parents’ behaviors and perspectives, the findings also identified risk factors for engagement in child abuse or non-health promoting occupations. The discussion will include a review of Pierce’s (2009) assertion of disadvantages of glorifying the outcomes of co-occupation and will identify how viewing co-occupation in a therapeutic and non-therapeutic manner may contribute to the discipline of occupational science.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it important for the discipline of occupational science to consider health promoting and non-health promoting occupations?
  2. How is engagement in unhealthy co-occupations recognized and prevented?

References

Nakagawa, T.A. & Conway, E.E. (2004) Shaken baby syndrome: Recognizing and responding to a lethal danger. Contemporary Pediatrics, 21(3), 37-57.

Olson, J.A. (2004). Mothering Co-occupations in Caring for Infants and Young Children. In S.A. Esdaile & J.A. Olson’s Mothering Occupations: Challenge, Agency, and Participation. (pp. 28-51). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Pierce, 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

Comments

Research paper

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Oct 5th, 12:25 PM Oct 5th, 12:55 PM

Understanding Co-Occupations: Exploring Infant Crying and the Revolving Interaction

This study explored the behaviors, actions, and emotions parents demonstrate when responding to infant crying. Using a qualitative research approach, data were collected through participant observations, a questionnaire, and field notes. The results of the analysis identified three major themes: The immediate response to crying, routines, and utilizing movement as a coping strategy. This study contributes to occupational science by exploring the parent’s perspective and their response to infant crying. Infant crying is viewed as a normal and developmental behavior expressed by infants. However, this normal behavior can be one of the most difficult and trying times for parents. Inconsolable infant crying is the precipitating factor of child abuse, specifically Shaken Baby Syndrome (Nakagawa & Conway, 2004). Caregiving or the reciprocal interaction between caregiver and infant are considered co-occupations that promote development (Olson, 2004), child abuse resulting in Shaken Baby Syndrome may be considered a non-health promoting co-occupation. In the current study, when an infant cries and a caregiver interacted with the infant to calm them, the ensuring interaction was viewed as a health promoting co-occupation. Through analysis of the parents’ behaviors and perspectives, the findings also identified risk factors for engagement in child abuse or non-health promoting occupations. The discussion will include a review of Pierce’s (2009) assertion of disadvantages of glorifying the outcomes of co-occupation and will identify how viewing co-occupation in a therapeutic and non-therapeutic manner may contribute to the discipline of occupational science.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it important for the discipline of occupational science to consider health promoting and non-health promoting occupations?
  2. How is engagement in unhealthy co-occupations recognized and prevented?