All about occupational
It is no small thing to be well-occupied. (Author
unknown). When this author penned this thought, he was attuned
with the core values of occupational science. Occupational
science recognizes that within participation in daily activities
there is something inherently powerful and essential to the
creation of satisfying, healthy lives. Occupation, as used
here, does not refer to only employment but to all those daily
activities that occupy our time.
Occupational science is an academic discipline
that uses systematic methods to investigate the relationship
of daily occupations, health and well-being.
History of occupational
At the beginning of the 20th century health
care providers, influenced by pragmatism, the mental hygiene
and the social activitist movements of the period, recognized
that the activities of everyday life were critical to individuals
health and well-being. Two of these leaders shared these eloquent
Occupation is the very life of life. Harold
Bell Wright (1915)
Occupation is as necessary to life as food
and drink. That every human being should have both physical
and mental occupations which they enjoy. These are more
necessary when the vocation is dull or distasteful. . .
That sick minds, sick bodies, sick souls may be healed through
occupation. Dunton (1919)
The interdisciplinary professionals who founded
the profession of occupational therapy in the early 20th century
recognized that occupation was at the heart of therapeutic
practice and that studying this phenemenon was essential to
the advancement of the profession.
The object of the society shall be the advancement
of occupation as a therapeutic measure; the study of the
effects of occupation upon the human being; and the dissemination
of scientific knowledge of this subject. (Article 1, Section
3, Constitution; National Society for the Promotion of Occupational
Throughout the 20th century, the profession
of occupational therapy built and reexamined its knowlege
base for practice. Concerned that practice knowlege was becoming
overly mechanistic and reductionist, in 1967, Elizabeth Yerxa,
a visionary in the field, called for a more critical analysis
of the state of knowlege in occupational therapy. This led
to the development of more theory-based practice knowledge
but as yet this knowledge was not rooted in the core concept
of occupation as the founders had intended. In 1988, Dr. Yerxa
along with the faculty of the University of Southern California
formally founded a doctoral course of study in the discipline
of occupational science. In the U.S.A, this event marked the
formal establishment of the discipline of occupational science.
Some 15 years later, interest and research in occupational
science is prospering around the world. Like the U.S., each
country has its own history of how occupational science emerged.
The synchronicity of these movements, seeded by collaborative
efforts of scholars around the world, has created a flourishing
of Occupational Science (JOS)
This international journal is commited to topical
dialogue of the emerging discipline of occupational science.
It aims to give voice to the unique experiences, concerns
and perspectives of the study of humans as occupational beings.
It is a joint publication from the University of South Australia,
the University of Southern California, and the Auckland Institute
of Technology. The Editorial Board includes internationally
recognised experts from the fields of anthropology, time use,
occupational therapy and community health. The Executive Editor
of the journal is Associate Professor Ann Wilcock PhD., and
the Editor is Clare Hocking from the Auckland Institute of
(Taken from the Journal of Occupational Science Website).
The Occupational Sciences library is no longer online. We are evaluating newer software tools for delivering access to interdisciplinary articles on occupation.