Occupation: Construct validity and empirical testing of predicting factors in an aging population.

Susanne Iwarsson, Gillis Samuelsson, Bo Hagberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The models and theories of occupational therapy and occupational science to a great extent lack empirical support. We need an increased understanding of the construct of occupation and its predicting factors. The objectives of this study were to explore the construct of occupation in an ageing population, and to test the construct's relationships with underlying performance components and environmental influences. Applying a post hoc design to a comprehensive data set from a general population cohort, the Latent Variable Path Analysis with Partial Least Squares estimation procedure (LVPLS) was used for reiterative modelling, using a hypothesized model founded in the rehabilitation context as the starting point. A household and work-related occupation variable was verified, and an acceptable model established. The results indicate that the construct of occupation can be explored with the LVPLS method, but the construct is complex and can only partly be subjected to empirical testing with a quantitative approach. The results demonstrate the feasibility of establishing a model based on general population data, maintaining the main structures of a model founded in the rehabilitation context. Empirical studies of the factors predicting occupation are valuable in order to develop and strengthen our theoretical models and taxonomies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
JournalOccupational Therapy International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational Therapy (Closed 2012) (013025000), Department of Psychology (012010000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Occupational Therapy


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