Title

Theoretical Perspective of Occupational Engagement

Location

Hiawatha 1

Start Time

18-10-2014 11:05 AM

End Time

18-10-2014 11:35 AM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new theory about the constructs of doing, occupational performance, occupational engagement, and participation. These are key constructs in occupational science and occupational therapy, but often researchers and others use the terms without clearly defining what they mean. While it is a good thing to recognize that these constructs are not simple and may have multiple definitions, researchers need to define the terms that they use so that we can more clearly communicate with each other. The focus of this discussion will be on the construct of occupational engagement. It is used synonymously with “doing” (i.e. Eakman, Carlson, & Clark, 2010) or used to mean several different things even within the same document (Townsend, & Polatajko, 2013). We propose occupational engagement as a construct unique from doing, occupational performance, and participation which relates directly to people’s subjective experiences of occupation and their level of involvement in occupation. We will discuss that although positive psychology equates flow with engagement (Seligman, 2011), we feel that occupational engagement may not be limited to positive experiences. We will explore examples in the literature and through our own research and experience with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, dementia, and other cognitive disabilities. This topic is important for occupational science because occupational engagement is a key construct within the discipline. Clearly defining and discussing the complexity of key constructs within occupational science helps to demonstrate the similarities and differences between occupational science and other disciplines.

References

Eakman, Carlson, & Clark (2010). Factor structure, reliability, and convergent validity of the Engagement in Meaningful Activities survey for older adults. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 30(3), 111-21. doi: 10.3928/15394492-20090518-01

Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Free Press.

Townsend, E. A., & Polatajko, H. J. (2013). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being, and justice through occupation (2nd ed.). Ottowa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

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Oct 18th, 11:05 AM Oct 18th, 11:35 AM

Theoretical Perspective of Occupational Engagement

Hiawatha 1

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new theory about the constructs of doing, occupational performance, occupational engagement, and participation. These are key constructs in occupational science and occupational therapy, but often researchers and others use the terms without clearly defining what they mean. While it is a good thing to recognize that these constructs are not simple and may have multiple definitions, researchers need to define the terms that they use so that we can more clearly communicate with each other. The focus of this discussion will be on the construct of occupational engagement. It is used synonymously with “doing” (i.e. Eakman, Carlson, & Clark, 2010) or used to mean several different things even within the same document (Townsend, & Polatajko, 2013). We propose occupational engagement as a construct unique from doing, occupational performance, and participation which relates directly to people’s subjective experiences of occupation and their level of involvement in occupation. We will discuss that although positive psychology equates flow with engagement (Seligman, 2011), we feel that occupational engagement may not be limited to positive experiences. We will explore examples in the literature and through our own research and experience with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, dementia, and other cognitive disabilities. This topic is important for occupational science because occupational engagement is a key construct within the discipline. Clearly defining and discussing the complexity of key constructs within occupational science helps to demonstrate the similarities and differences between occupational science and other disciplines.