Title

Methodological Innovation to Study Occupation, Environmental Stressors, and Stress in a Post-Industrial Riskscape

Location

Charles Frost

Start Time

18-10-2014 10:30 AM

End Time

18-10-2014 11:00 AM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Abstract

Methodological Innovation to Study Occupation: Daily activities, Neighborhood Stressors, and Stress in a Post-Industrial Riskscape

In the current socio-cultural contexts of globalization and multiculturalism, there is a need to apply the concept of occupation at the community and population level. To do so allows examination of issues caused or aggravated by the forces of neoliberalism, globalization, structural violence, and social inequities (Frank, 2011). One such issue is how the global socio-economic changes of the last few decades have resulted in the development of urban ‘riskscapes’ that are disproportionately inhabited by older minorities (Mair, Cutchin, & Peek, 2011; United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, 2007). Urban environments such as Detroit, Michigan exemplify this issue. Changes have created residential environments containing numerous industrial hazards related to previous/current industrial activity. However, equally important, are the socio-economic stressors such as crime rates, derelict infrastructure, pervasive poverty, and the decay of social capital that are encountered in the course of daily occupations. The purpose of this paper is to present and describe the use of multiple methods strategically configured to examine the intersection of daily occupations, exposure to urban stressors, and associated stress responses in 100 African-Americans aged 55 and older living in Detroit. To this aim, we describe methods and discuss their integration for understanding the role of occupation in urban risk and health. Methods to be discussed include: (a) ecological momentary assessment (EMA) using the movisensSX application for android devices; (b) participant-generated photos and audio journal entries about environments and stress using the Android phones; (c) collection of stress biomarkers via saliva samples at four times a day across a week to establish comprehensive diurnal cortisol curves; and (d) a pilot of the electronically activated ear and the collection of hair cortisol. We discuss the potential and problems for such methods in studying occupations in the context of urban life and environmental issues. The paper thus contributes knowledge about the potential of innovative combinations of multiple methods to more fully examine the role of occupation in larger socio-cultural processes.

Keywords: Occupation, Multiple-methods, Urban health

References

Frank, G. (2011). The transactional relationship between occupation and place: Indigenous cultures in the American Southwest. Journal of Occupational Science, 18, 3-20.

Mair, C. A., Cutchin, M. P., & Peek, M. K. (2011). Allostatic load in an environmental riskscape: The role of stressors and gender. Health & Place, 17, 978–987.

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. An Urbanizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements, 1996. New York: Oxford; 2007.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 18th, 10:30 AM Oct 18th, 11:00 AM

Methodological Innovation to Study Occupation, Environmental Stressors, and Stress in a Post-Industrial Riskscape

Charles Frost

Abstract

Methodological Innovation to Study Occupation: Daily activities, Neighborhood Stressors, and Stress in a Post-Industrial Riskscape

In the current socio-cultural contexts of globalization and multiculturalism, there is a need to apply the concept of occupation at the community and population level. To do so allows examination of issues caused or aggravated by the forces of neoliberalism, globalization, structural violence, and social inequities (Frank, 2011). One such issue is how the global socio-economic changes of the last few decades have resulted in the development of urban ‘riskscapes’ that are disproportionately inhabited by older minorities (Mair, Cutchin, & Peek, 2011; United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, 2007). Urban environments such as Detroit, Michigan exemplify this issue. Changes have created residential environments containing numerous industrial hazards related to previous/current industrial activity. However, equally important, are the socio-economic stressors such as crime rates, derelict infrastructure, pervasive poverty, and the decay of social capital that are encountered in the course of daily occupations. The purpose of this paper is to present and describe the use of multiple methods strategically configured to examine the intersection of daily occupations, exposure to urban stressors, and associated stress responses in 100 African-Americans aged 55 and older living in Detroit. To this aim, we describe methods and discuss their integration for understanding the role of occupation in urban risk and health. Methods to be discussed include: (a) ecological momentary assessment (EMA) using the movisensSX application for android devices; (b) participant-generated photos and audio journal entries about environments and stress using the Android phones; (c) collection of stress biomarkers via saliva samples at four times a day across a week to establish comprehensive diurnal cortisol curves; and (d) a pilot of the electronically activated ear and the collection of hair cortisol. We discuss the potential and problems for such methods in studying occupations in the context of urban life and environmental issues. The paper thus contributes knowledge about the potential of innovative combinations of multiple methods to more fully examine the role of occupation in larger socio-cultural processes.

Keywords: Occupation, Multiple-methods, Urban health