Co‐occupation: The challenges of defining concepts original to occupational science
ABSTRACT The term co‐occupation was coined in the early days of occupational science and has begun to accrue a grouping of studies that shed light on its dynamic. Its lasting nature as a concept original to occupational science may be due to the fact that it is grounded in the interdisciplinary play literature, as well as the interests of occupational scientists in the interactive social dimension of occupation, especially those of mothers and children. The essence of co‐occupation is its highly interactive nature. Co‐occupation is a dance between the occupations of one individual and another that sequentially shapes the occupations of both persons. Although many of the experiences of co‐occupation are fairly symmetrical, as in playing tennis, this is not a defining characteristic of co‐occupation. Co‐occupations do not necessarily occur within shared space, time, meaning, affect, or intent. Efforts to define co‐occupation bring to light multiple challenges to defining occupational science concepts: the need to welcome multiple definitions, the special logics that can support the definition of new concepts, the tendency to glorify occupation within definitions, the need to differentiate between ideas and experiences within definitions of occupation and its subtypes, the tendency to overemphasize the social dimension of occupations and underemphasize their spatial and temporal aspects, and the need to build new areas of understanding of the transactional characteristics of occupation without discrediting occupational scientists’ valuing of the individual perspectives of those studied. This special issue of the Journal of Occupational Science is a milestone for occupational science, as this unique type of occupation comes of age as a research focus for diverse researchers.
SourceAvailable from: Mark J. Hudson
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to examine a father feeding his daughter who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy in order to identify the contexts that make this occupation significant. The analysis of direct observation and interviews demonstrates significant moments where two individuals make intersubjective connections. Themes that are presented are the Intensity of Mealtime, Connections Between Participants, and Adapted Forms of Communication. Both the difficulties and rewards of mealtime are illustrated within these themes. This analysis reveals the structure and importance of doing together in influencing and determining occupations. From a clinical perspective, the meaningfulness of fathering occupations highlights the importance of including fathers in family-centered care. [OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health. 2014; 34(4):193-201.].OTJR Occupation Participation Health 10/2014; 34(4):193-201. DOI:10.3928/15394492-20141006-04 · 0.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: The aim of this study was to understand the perspectives of mothers when mother and child both have sensory processing challenges, and how the mother's coping strategies for managing her sensory needs influence mothering co-occupations and parenting ideals. Method: Four mothers with sensory processing challenges participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using grounded theory principles. Findings: Mothers described managing their sensory needs while negotiating the conflicting sensory preferences of their children. Coping strategies included understanding sensory processing patterns of behaviour and structuring daily activities and the environment. Some coping strategies had secondary consequences of a ripple effect, a reverberating impact that exacerbated the challenges of unmet sensory needs and interfered with co-occupations and parenting ideals. Conclusion: Implications for mothers include understanding how their sensory processing transacts with their children's sensory preferences. Implications for practitioners include attending to the sensory processing patterns and coping strategies of both children and parents.10/2012; 75(10):449-455. DOI:10.4276/030802212X13496921049626