On non-work activity preferences: relationships with occupational roles

Disabil Rehabil. 1994 Oct-Dec;16(4):205-16. doi: 10.3109/09638289409166614.


Occupational therapy is to a great extent based on the idea of engaging patients in meaningful activities. Using mailed checklists this investigation examines the preference attached to 50 activities by 201 adult (25-55 years old) northern Swedes using a four-grade ordinal scale. The self-reported levels of activity preferences were related to age and gender. Factor analysis was used to analyse the inter-relationships between activity preferences. The possible effects of activity preferences on self-reported occupational role internalization (10 items) were examined using discriminant analyses. Activity preferences were gender-dependent for more than half of the activities while only 14 of them were age-dependent. The factor analysis grouped 41 of the activities into 15 factors which were labelled 'activity goals'. Fourteen of these were distinct classifiers (discriminant analyses) of the self-reported degree of internalization of 8/10 occupational roles. In this sample occupational role internalization has elsewhere been demonstrated to be closely related to several domains of life satisfaction, which in turn are closely associated with satisfaction with life as a whole. Taken together with those results the present investigation leads the authors to suggest this model: activity preferences-->occupational roles-->domain-specific life satisfaction-->happiness.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Role*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden