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USC / THERAPEUTIC SCI (DEPT-KINES) / THE 220 / What is the difference between occupation and role?

What is the difference between occupation and role?

What is the difference between occupation and role?



What is the difference between occupation and role?

Difference between ​Occup​ ation and​ ​Role :

Occupation (v):​ something one does  “Chunks of culturally and personally meaningful activity that can be named in the lexicon if the culture”

Role : ​a position that one assumes, can be born into or achieved

­ Roles have obligation and expectations

­ Tell us how to be doing things

Why occupation matters:

 “Occupation is the means through which human beings realize their sense of life’s meaning” (Yerxa et al,. 1989) We also discuss several other topics like How to define low-income country?

● Occupation matters to our health and well being

Why occupation matters?

● Affects our health psychologically and physically ( <­ these connected) ● How we fill our time affects how we think about ourselves and the quality of our lives

● Everyday decisions made about how to spend time.

Occupational Therapy vs. Occupational Science

Occupational Therapy​: a profession. Occupational therapists help people with a challenge which gets in their way of engaging in meaningful activity.

   > Focused on Quality of Life

* medicine helps preserve life, occupational theory concerned with the quality of life that is preserved

­ Helps people reach goals in every environment they interact with If you want to learn more check out What is functional region?
If you want to learn more check out What is the study of humans as biological organisms with an evolutionary framework?

Occupational Science​: an academic discipline, social science. Studies the form and function of occupation.

5 assumptions of occupational science.

We also discuss several other topics like How the egyptian hieroglyphic system was used to represent numbers?

­ How occupation (what we do) affects our health

­ Founded in 1989 by Dr. Elizabeth Yerxa @ USC

­ How to enhance the wellbeing of individuals and groups

5 Assumptions of Occupational Science:

1. Individuals most true to their humanity when engaged in occupations ­ Humans more healthy when they are doing things

­ We have an innate drive to remain occupied

2. The Human is the author of his or her life !

      ­     Spend time making choices that will influence our being and health If you want to learn more check out What is the industrial revolution and when did it happen?

     3.  People Engage in Storied Acting

­ We create stories about ourselves and the things we do

­ ^ this is how we start to make sense of the world around us

­ Create symbolic meaning of our occupations and how it fits into the world around us We also discuss several other topics like What was a cult favorite, originally on network tv?

     4.   Humans adapt to the demands of their environment  *

­ Despite any challenge people can adapt to still have a meaningful life ­ Occupational therapists help with this process ^

­ “It's not the strongest or most intelligent that survives, it's the one most adaptable to change “ ­ Darwin

     5. Occupations are carried out within a physical, social, political and historical environment

­ Not just about the occupation, about the context surrounding and influencing the occupation

USC Model of Human Subsystems that Influence Occupations

­­­­­Transcendental Subsystem

­­­­­Symbolic­Evaluative Subsystem

­­­­­­Socio­Cultural Subsystem

­­­­­­Information­Processing Subsystem

­­­­­­Biological Subsystem


Physical​ :  Physio­ chemical processes that go on in the body that allow to engage in occupations

Biological​ : Productions of evolution; biological drives due to evolutionary process ­ Innate drive for mastery , competence, competition, reproduction, exploration

Information Processing​: Cognitive processes that must take place to accomplish occupation ­ Decision making, communicating, perceiving, planning

Socio­Cultural​ : Social and Cultural expectations that we internalize from various communities ­ Cultures and societies that influence what occupations we engage in and how we engage in them

Symbolic­ Evaluative​ : The meaning occupation has for us

­ Why we do an occupation ; the emotion and value we place on an occupation

Transcendenta​l: How occupation fits in with life goals

­ How fits in w/ person’s sense of purpose , future goals

Example :  Swimming

Physical Subsystem ­­ flexibility, muscular ability, heart pumping, lungs expanding Biological ­­  to compete,  to survive ( not drown ) , stay in shape,

Information Processing ­­­ when to rise for air, when to take next stroke, coordinating hands and legs, when to flip

Sociocultural ­­­ whether you swim outside/ year round, pressures from family’s culture, the age you learn to swim, pool rules, what you wear

Symbolic­evaluative ­­ Stress reliever, connecting to others, therapeutic

Transcendental ­­­ to be an olympian,

● Occupations can be part of multiple subsystems

Labor Day Lecture:

What is health?

Eating well

Physical activity

Mental, physical, social, spiritual, emotional well­being


Medical Model of health​:

­Goal is to eradicate disease and extend life

­Hierarchy ;   doctor has expertise, patient has passive role ( receiving advice, following orders, improving)    ­­ shifting , people taking ownership of own health w/ access to info (i.e internet) ­Very objective

­For people with disabilities, sign of unhealthiness approached differently

Economic Model of health​:

­Healthy according to economic model means able to hold a job and contribute to national budget by paying taxes .

­Problem for people with disabilities is marketplace decides whether or not they are healthy

Alternative Medicine:


Massage Therapy

Herbal medicine


Meditation/ Prayer

Occupational Science Model :

Health is a positive, dynamic state of well­being, reflecting a good quality of life, adaptability, and satisfaction in one’s own activities.

­ A dynamic state of wellbeing , it can change

­ Able to adapt to be able to have good quality of life

­ Satisfaction in own occupations, engage in meaningful activities

● Only you can decide whether or not you are healthy


Environment Skills

^ These three things must be in balance for one to be able to consider themselves healthy

Sorella Reading​:

Woman author unable to contribute to Economic definition of health

Could still find meaning by redefining her definition of health ­­ Occupational Science meaning Doctor’s promised a cure they were unable to find ­­ Medical Model of health

*Compares her abilities to an onion, layers being stripped away and has to continue to re­define her meaning of a healthy day

Social Construction of Disability:

The interaction of biological and social factors that either create or fail to prevent disability. ­ How does society construct (or enhance ) disability for its community members ­ War, peace and imposed stress, poor workplace regulations, racism (sexism, ageism), access to nutrition, roles and expectations, bullying, street violence, societal tolerance for dangerous activity, laws,


(Continuing previous lecture)

Social de­construction of disability : ​To create a society that would accommodate for our differences. (I.e   ramps, service dogs, education)

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ New Lecture

Biology of Stress:

1. The Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenocortical Axis (HPA) and the Sympathetic Adrenomedullary system (SAM), governs the metabolic responses to the demands of chronic and acute stress.

2. Stress causes an immediate increase in adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) secretion by the anterior pituitary gland followed by glucocorticoid release of cortisol from the adrenal cortices that lie at the superior poles of the kidneys.

3. Secretion of cortisol is controlled almost entirely by ACTH levels.

4. Cortisol does good things like

1. promotes the formation of glucose – main source of energy for the


2. anti­inflammatory properties to help with healing after tissue is

damaged due to trauma or infection

5. Although glucocorticoid responses to stress are essential for survival, prolonged exposure to elevated stress hormones (i.e. cortisol) levels can present a serious health risk, leading to:

1. decreased sensitivity to insulin and risk of steroid­induced


2. hypertension,

3. hyperlipidemia,

4. hypercholesterolemia,

5. arterial disease,

6. amenorrhea,

7. impairment of growth and tissue repair,

8. immunosuppression.

9. Elevated glucocorticoids have been also been found to lead to:

10. decreased learning,

11. memory,

12. olfactory and gustatory sensation,

13. behavioral patterns of rage, passivity, and excessive sex drive.


6. Exposure to an acute emergency psychosocial stressor elicits the “fight or flight” response

7.  Excessive time spent in “fight or flight” response has been linked to: 1. suppression of cellular immune function,

2. increased chronic blood pressure and heart rate,

3. irregular heart rate,

4. & may contribute to neurochemical imbalances that contribute to

the development of psychiatric illnesses.

II.  Cumulative Effects of stress

1. Repeated fluctuations in physiological response to psychosocial stress can cause strain on multiple organs and tissues

2. This in turn can lead to

1. organ system breakdown,

2. compromised immune response, &

3. ultimately diseased states.

III.  Degrees of Stress

1.   Primary

Mild symptoms

Short lived

Fixable by temporary reprieve

2.   Secondary

Lasts longer

Unable to separate yourself from stress symptoms

Starts taking extra effort to take care of myself

3. Tertiary

Symptoms are continuous

No reprieve

Manifested in physical and psychological symptoms

Having existentialist thoughts, questioning the purposes of things, philosophical concerns

Self stress test:

 What have you done for other people this last week?

What have you done for yourself this week?

What is something you can do for yourself within the week?

3 symptoms of stress:

3 things causing stress:

How do you cope with sources of stress?

Ineffective strategies?

Effective Strategies?

10 or more positive things about yourself

What is something you are happy about?

What is something you are angry about?

What is something you are sad about?

What is something you are scared of ?

Who is someone you can express those feelings to?

Describe a current situation in which you would like to say “no” or set better limits or boundaries. What is an issue around which you would like some support?

Who do you want support from?

What do you want them to do for you?

10 Ways to relieve Stress:

 1. get organized

2.  live in the present

3. Help others

4. Laugh

5. Let other people do their own thing

6. Give people a break

7. Monitor the self talk that goes on in your head

8. Treat yourself right

9. Use different words

10. Remember that other people and things can never make you angry, You allow people to do those things. You control your emotions

( avoid caffeine ,drink water, exercise, be thankful)


Stress Continued: 

“Healthy Pleasures”​  reading

­Healthy pleasures are engaged through :

­ Sensual / sensory

­ examples; eating something enjoyable, looking at fish swimming or fire crackling  , listening to children laugh, massage

­ Mental

            ­positive things we tell ourselves, imaging succeeding


­ Repetitive occupations you engage in on a subconscious level


­ Five Qualities of a strong goal

­ Write “ I Will ​­ goal “

­ Has to be positive ( no saying, “ I will not..”)

­ Has to be specific

­ Measurable

­ Important to you 

­ Under your control

Hardy personality :

­ Someone who is better able to deal with stress and stressful events because of these 3 characteristics  ( based on studying business executives)

­ Commitment​ ; the ability to believe in the value of what you’re doing

­ Control​ ; tendency to believe you have some sort of influence over your life ­ Challenge ​; tendency to believe change rather than stability is the normative mode of life

^ Have control in making choices but have the ability to adapt to life’s changes

Sense of Coherence :

­  looking at how older adults recovered from surgery and hospital visits 1. Confidence​ in a predictable, structured environment

2. Belief in one’s ability ​to meet the demands of their environment

3. Ability to interpret those demands as meaningful challenges

­ Older adults that had better sense of coherence were able to recover faster than predicted

Occupational Science link to health:

­ If you have a broken link in the chain, will not be able to deal with stress as well

Link 1.​ Healthy Occupations ­­ Link 2. ​Coping Skills ­­ Link 3.​ Perceived Control­­ Link 4​. Social Support

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Adaptation :

1. Adaptation

1. OS Defn – a process of selecting and organizing occupations to improve life opportunities and enhance quality of life according to the experience of

individuals in an ever­changing environment. (Gelya Frank)

2. Adaptive Strategies

1. OS Defn – (p. 340 – 4th paragraph of JJ article) the complex sequences of actions, methods, and plans used by individuals to overcome obstacles / adapt to loss in order to live satisfying, meaningful lives.

­ Technology support

­ Government support

­ Social support

Oliver Sacks:

 The Colorblind Painter:

­ Man who could only see in black and white

­ Adaptive strategies; changing t.v to black and white, made living room grey, at light and dark foods

 A Surgeon’s life

        ­   Man with turrets is a surgeon and a pilot

        ­   Adaptive strategies : Rode a bike, smoked cigars ( to keep himself occupied)        ­   Adaptive Systems : social support from wife and kids, won’t let anything distract him during surgery ( help from nurses)


1. Culture

1. Dictionary definition = the ways of living that are built up by one group of people and passed on to the next generation

2. OS Definition= A fabric of meaning through which individuals make sense of and interpret their experiences (Grey & McPherson, 2005)

1. Cultural competence

1. involves understanding the meaning of culture, being aware of its influence on oneself and others and having a sensitivity to other cultures and one’s own cultural biases (Chiang & Carlson, 2003)

2. Cultural competency is not only developing the awareness that culture is an issue in health, illness, and healthcare, but also learning one’s own cultural

assumptions, values, and beliefs in order to interpret the therapeutic situation from multiple perspectives.

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