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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Well-being from an occupational perspective : testing a conceptual model Anaby, Dana Rachel


One of the key factors for promoting well-being lies in balancing one's daily life occupations and the nature of these occupations. Yet it is not clear what constitutes occupational balance, and its association to other factors has not been examined systematically. This dissertation proposed and tested a conceptual model for examining well-being from an occupational perspective using structural equation modeling. The proposed model stated the mediating role of occupational characteristics and occupational imbalance in the relationship between personality and well-being. Four studies were conducted in order to develop and test the model. The first three studies explored the measurement aspect of occupational balance and well-being, whereas the fourth study tested the overall model (the relationships among the model constructs). Method: 122 adults completed the Cross Impact Matrix (CIM) of the Personal Projects Analysis (PPA) to measure occupational balance; the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS); the Positive Affect Negative Affect Scales, and the Self-Rated Health scale to measure well-being (study 1). As no correlation was found between well-being and occupational balance, measured by the CIM, a pilot sample (n=24) completed the same instruments, except occupational balance was measured using an alternative tool, the Inter-goal Relations Questionnaire (IRQ). Results indicated that occupational balance and occupational imbalance were two distinct dimensions that should be measured separately using unipolar scales. This led to additional studies while examining occupational imbalance using the IRQ and focusing on one aspect of well-being (life satisfaction). 288 adults completed the IRQ (occupational imbalance), the PPA Rating Matrix (occupational characteristics), the Big Five Inventory (personality traits) and the SWLS (well-being). Results supported the unidimensional structure of occupational imbalance (study 2) and well-being (study 3); whereas, the overall tested models were partially confirmed (study 4). Occupational characteristics served as significant mediators between personality and well-being, yet occupational imbalance did not. Conclusion: the quality of occupations is what is important to well-being, rather than the way individuals balance them. These findings are in line with very recent and innovative theories for viewing balance. New lines of inquiry are suggested to further explore the concept of occupational balance and its effect on well-being.

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