Faculty Publication: Hoppes

Hoppes, S., & Segal, R. (2010). Reconstructing meaning through occupation after the death of a family member: accommodation, assimilation, and continuing bonds. The American Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 64(1), 133-141.
Reactions to death have been studied extensively from psychological, behavioral, and physiological perspectives. Occupational adaptation to loss has received scant attention. Qualitative research was undertaken to identify and describe occupational responses in bereavement. The constant comparative approach was used to analyze and interpret the occupational responses. Adaptive strategies of occupational accommodation and assimilation were used after the death of a family member. Desire to sustain bonds with the deceased motivated specific occupational engagements. These occupational responses served to reconstruct meaning after the death of a family member. These findings contribute to understanding adaptation after death by adding an occupational perspective to previous theories. Occupational therapists’ abilities to support clients after loss can be enhanced through appreciation of occupational accommodation and assimilation and the role of continuing occupational bonds after the death of a loved one.

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