Title

Participation as transaction: The functional coordination of family occupation.

1

Start Time

29-9-2016 2:00 PM

End Time

29-9-2016 3:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Everyday family activities have been variously termed routines, rituals, practices, and occupations and they are often treated as taken-for-granted aspects of life. Segal (1999) highlighted the selected and constructed nature of family occupations, representing shared but not necessarily equal engagement in meaningful chunks of activity. Occupational science scholars have also been interested in the intricate interplay of temporality, context, and social interactions within occupations, including those occurring within the patterns of daily family life (Larson & Zemke, 2003). In alignment with the conference theme of diversity in occupation, this study utilized a transactional perspective (Dickie, Cutchin, & Humphry, 2006) to explore the coordination of family occupation within families with children with disabilities. Purpose: This qualitative study explored participation in family time among families with children with disabilities in order to learn about how families co-construct meaningful shared occupations. Methods: The study utilized an ethnographic approach involving participant observations in home and community settings. Families were recruited from communities in the southeastern United States. The study sample consisted of seven families with one or more children with a reported physical or intellectual disability between the ages of 6-11 years old. The author joined families in activities of their choosing across 3-6 visits. Data were analyzed following an iterative-inductive approach drawing from the ‘Sort & sift: Think and shift’ method (Maietta & Mihas, 2015) as well as interactive components of data collection, condensation, display, and drawing conclusions (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2014). Results: Family occupations were coordinated among axes of availability, accessibility, and acceptability. Families employed numerous planning, normalizing, and validating strategies to promote inclusion in family time. Implications: Expanded descriptive knowledge about how families construct shared practices may enhance occupational scientists’ understanding of the transactional and coordinated nature of occupation.

Key words: family occupation, participation, transactional perspective

References

Dickie, V., Cutchin, M., & Humphry, R. (2006). Occupation as transactional experience: A critique of individualism in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 13, 83-93.

Larson, E. A., & Zemke, R. (2003). Shaping the temporal patterns of our lives: The social coordination of occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 10(2), 80-89.

Maietta, R. C., & Mihas, P. (2015, October). Sort & sift, think and shift: Let the data be your guide. Presentation at ResearchTalk Fall Seminar Series in Chapel Hill, NC.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook, 3rd ed. SAGE Publications: Los Angeles, CA.

Segal, R. (1999). Doing for others: Occupations within families with children who have special needs. Journal of Occupational Science, 6(2), 53-60.

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Sep 29th, 2:00 PM Sep 29th, 3:30 PM

Participation as transaction: The functional coordination of family occupation.

Everyday family activities have been variously termed routines, rituals, practices, and occupations and they are often treated as taken-for-granted aspects of life. Segal (1999) highlighted the selected and constructed nature of family occupations, representing shared but not necessarily equal engagement in meaningful chunks of activity. Occupational science scholars have also been interested in the intricate interplay of temporality, context, and social interactions within occupations, including those occurring within the patterns of daily family life (Larson & Zemke, 2003). In alignment with the conference theme of diversity in occupation, this study utilized a transactional perspective (Dickie, Cutchin, & Humphry, 2006) to explore the coordination of family occupation within families with children with disabilities. Purpose: This qualitative study explored participation in family time among families with children with disabilities in order to learn about how families co-construct meaningful shared occupations. Methods: The study utilized an ethnographic approach involving participant observations in home and community settings. Families were recruited from communities in the southeastern United States. The study sample consisted of seven families with one or more children with a reported physical or intellectual disability between the ages of 6-11 years old. The author joined families in activities of their choosing across 3-6 visits. Data were analyzed following an iterative-inductive approach drawing from the ‘Sort & sift: Think and shift’ method (Maietta & Mihas, 2015) as well as interactive components of data collection, condensation, display, and drawing conclusions (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2014). Results: Family occupations were coordinated among axes of availability, accessibility, and acceptability. Families employed numerous planning, normalizing, and validating strategies to promote inclusion in family time. Implications: Expanded descriptive knowledge about how families construct shared practices may enhance occupational scientists’ understanding of the transactional and coordinated nature of occupation.

Key words: family occupation, participation, transactional perspective