Title

Conceptualization and Development of the Perceived Occupational Possibilities Scale

Start Time

6-10-2012 9:40 AM

End Time

6-10-2012 10:10 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

The term ‘occupational possibilities’ is a relatively new construct within occupational science proposed to expand our understanding of occupation to include the effects of larger social forces (Laliberte Rudman, 2010). This perspective includes a group’s tacit knowledge about societal ideals. The construct of possibilities is situated within a socio-historical context and includes what we “should be” and “could be” doing. Rudman also emphasizes a recent historic turn in our society towards the individualizing of occupation exemplified by the focus on meaning and ability with little consideration of the situated nature of occupation (Laliberte Rudman, 2006). This individualistic turn places the responsibility of action within the individual and disregards larger social forces that promote and enforce idealized ways of doing. Restricting understandings of occupation to within the individual may marginalize others not able to live up to those socially constructed ideals (Laliberte Rudman, 2012). While acknowledging the importance of both personal meaning and ability as vital to occupation, occupational possibilities broaden the perspective on largely ignored or marginalized groups.

Currently, research into and with the concept of occupational possibilities is limited by the dominant choice of qualitative methodology, critical discourse analysis (Laliberte Rudman, et al., 2009). Though very informative and helpful for theorizing about this concept, there remains a lack of operationalization of the construct for other types of research. Through thoughtful review of the literature and measures already developed to evaluate occupations in occupational science, this paper describes an approach to operationalization of the construct via a new tool designed to assess occupational possibilities. The Perceived Occupational Possibilities (POP) scale consists of two dimensions, termed ‘occupational expectations’ and ‘occupational self-efficacy’. Items in the instrument are based on consolidation of items within the Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment [MAPA] (Eakman et al., 2010). I will describe the conceptualization and development of the POP scale and its use with a large sample of older people with cancer. Use of this new measure with already existing measures such as the MAPA, will provide information on the individual as well as the situated nature of their actions. Furthermore, the POP could be a useful way for occupational scientists to examine occupational possibilities in order to further our understanding of occupation across various populations.

Objectives for Discussion Period:

  1. To engage in scholarly discussion regarding the operationalization of the construct occupational possibilities.
  2. Discussion concerning the development and conceptualization of the POP.
  3. Dialog about the ways that occupational scientists may utilize the POP to examine the situated nature of occupations in various populations.

References

Eakman, A., Carlson, M.E. & Clark, F., (2010). The Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment: A measure of engagement in personally valued activities. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70 (4), 299-317. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/AG.70.4.b

Laliberte Rudman, D. (2006). Shaping the active, autonomous and responsible modern retiree: an analysis of discursive technologies and their links with neo-liberal political rationality. Ageing and Society, 26, 181-201. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X05004253

Laliberte Rudman, D., Huot, S., & Dennhardt, S. (2009). Shaping ideal places for retirement: Occupational possibilities within contemporary media. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(1), 18-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2009.9686637

Laliberte Rudman, D. (2010). Occupational possibilities. Journal of Occupational Science, 17(1), 55-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2010.9686673

Laliberte Rudman, D. (February 29th, 2012). Working against the individualizing of the social: The critical potential of occupational science. Mitchell Symposium. Lecture conducted from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Comments

Research paper

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 6th, 9:40 AM Oct 6th, 10:10 AM

Conceptualization and Development of the Perceived Occupational Possibilities Scale

The term ‘occupational possibilities’ is a relatively new construct within occupational science proposed to expand our understanding of occupation to include the effects of larger social forces (Laliberte Rudman, 2010). This perspective includes a group’s tacit knowledge about societal ideals. The construct of possibilities is situated within a socio-historical context and includes what we “should be” and “could be” doing. Rudman also emphasizes a recent historic turn in our society towards the individualizing of occupation exemplified by the focus on meaning and ability with little consideration of the situated nature of occupation (Laliberte Rudman, 2006). This individualistic turn places the responsibility of action within the individual and disregards larger social forces that promote and enforce idealized ways of doing. Restricting understandings of occupation to within the individual may marginalize others not able to live up to those socially constructed ideals (Laliberte Rudman, 2012). While acknowledging the importance of both personal meaning and ability as vital to occupation, occupational possibilities broaden the perspective on largely ignored or marginalized groups.

Currently, research into and with the concept of occupational possibilities is limited by the dominant choice of qualitative methodology, critical discourse analysis (Laliberte Rudman, et al., 2009). Though very informative and helpful for theorizing about this concept, there remains a lack of operationalization of the construct for other types of research. Through thoughtful review of the literature and measures already developed to evaluate occupations in occupational science, this paper describes an approach to operationalization of the construct via a new tool designed to assess occupational possibilities. The Perceived Occupational Possibilities (POP) scale consists of two dimensions, termed ‘occupational expectations’ and ‘occupational self-efficacy’. Items in the instrument are based on consolidation of items within the Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment [MAPA] (Eakman et al., 2010). I will describe the conceptualization and development of the POP scale and its use with a large sample of older people with cancer. Use of this new measure with already existing measures such as the MAPA, will provide information on the individual as well as the situated nature of their actions. Furthermore, the POP could be a useful way for occupational scientists to examine occupational possibilities in order to further our understanding of occupation across various populations.

Objectives for Discussion Period:

  1. To engage in scholarly discussion regarding the operationalization of the construct occupational possibilities.
  2. Discussion concerning the development and conceptualization of the POP.
  3. Dialog about the ways that occupational scientists may utilize the POP to examine the situated nature of occupations in various populations.