Title

Grounded theory: A qualitative methodology for researching occupational adaptation

Location

Hiawatha 2

Start Time

17-10-2014 11:40 AM

End Time

17-10-2014 12:10 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Background: Occupational adaptation is a concept that frequently appears in the literature of occupational science. It is has been the focus of much research as occupational scientists have sought to gain deeper appreciation and understanding of the complex phenomenon that is occupation. However, most studies have deliberately imposed a lens of ‘occupational adaptation’ on the data/experiences of participants – potentially limiting understandings of this concept.

Purpose: This paper considers how grounded theory methodology can be used by occupational scientists to further explore understandings of occupational adaptation as a social process that people engage in as part of their everyday context.

Methodology: This paper draws on findings from two grounded theory studies. Study one explored the settlement processes of 25 women who had emigrated from India to New Zealand between the years 1987-2005. Semi structured interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis using grounded theory methods, in particular dimensional analysis (Schatzman, 1991). In study two, 15 participants over the age of 75, living in an Australian city were interviewed regarding their understanding of well-being. Data were audio recorded and transcribed before analysed using the tenets of traditional grounded theory (Glaser, 1992). Ethics approval was granted from the researchers’ university ethics committees.

Results: Neither of these studies deliberately asked about the concept ‘occupational adaptation’; yet, each study shed new insights into how occupational adaptation emerges in everyday life. In study one, ‘Shaping Self’, was revealed as a form of occupational adaptation wherein the immigrant women chose how much of themselves to reveal as Indian at any given moment as a way of increasing their occupational choices and overcoming societal issues of racism. In the second study ‘Trading Off’, as a form of occupational adaptation, was used to exchange occupations that were no longer within participants capacity for occupations that were, or for other people to complete those tasks in order for the person to perceive that they were in control.

Contribution to occupational science: Grounded theory, with its focus on social process, enables rich insights of the process of occupational adaptation to emerge from participants’ perspectives, into this concept. Re-framing occupational adaptation using language grounded in the experiences of particular social groups further extends understandings of this concept as it unfolds in individuals’ everyday lives.

Keywords: grounded theory, occupational adaptation, qualitative

References

Glaser, B. G. (1992). Basics of grounded theory analysis. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Schatzman, L. (1991). Dimensional analysis: Notes on an alternative approach to the grounding of theory in qualitative research. In D. R. Maines (Ed.), Social organization and social process (pp. 303-314). New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

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Oct 17th, 11:40 AM Oct 17th, 12:10 PM

Grounded theory: A qualitative methodology for researching occupational adaptation

Hiawatha 2

Background: Occupational adaptation is a concept that frequently appears in the literature of occupational science. It is has been the focus of much research as occupational scientists have sought to gain deeper appreciation and understanding of the complex phenomenon that is occupation. However, most studies have deliberately imposed a lens of ‘occupational adaptation’ on the data/experiences of participants – potentially limiting understandings of this concept.

Purpose: This paper considers how grounded theory methodology can be used by occupational scientists to further explore understandings of occupational adaptation as a social process that people engage in as part of their everyday context.

Methodology: This paper draws on findings from two grounded theory studies. Study one explored the settlement processes of 25 women who had emigrated from India to New Zealand between the years 1987-2005. Semi structured interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis using grounded theory methods, in particular dimensional analysis (Schatzman, 1991). In study two, 15 participants over the age of 75, living in an Australian city were interviewed regarding their understanding of well-being. Data were audio recorded and transcribed before analysed using the tenets of traditional grounded theory (Glaser, 1992). Ethics approval was granted from the researchers’ university ethics committees.

Results: Neither of these studies deliberately asked about the concept ‘occupational adaptation’; yet, each study shed new insights into how occupational adaptation emerges in everyday life. In study one, ‘Shaping Self’, was revealed as a form of occupational adaptation wherein the immigrant women chose how much of themselves to reveal as Indian at any given moment as a way of increasing their occupational choices and overcoming societal issues of racism. In the second study ‘Trading Off’, as a form of occupational adaptation, was used to exchange occupations that were no longer within participants capacity for occupations that were, or for other people to complete those tasks in order for the person to perceive that they were in control.

Contribution to occupational science: Grounded theory, with its focus on social process, enables rich insights of the process of occupational adaptation to emerge from participants’ perspectives, into this concept. Re-framing occupational adaptation using language grounded in the experiences of particular social groups further extends understandings of this concept as it unfolds in individuals’ everyday lives.

Keywords: grounded theory, occupational adaptation, qualitative