Occupational engagement and adults with intellectual disabilities

Wanda J. Mahoney, Elysa Roberts, Kimberly Bryze, Judith A.Parker Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


People with intellectual disabilities may be predisposed to occupational alienation as a result of an inherent need for ongoing support and limited understanding of how they express choice and engagement in occupation. In response to this risk of occupational injustice, this phenomenological study explored the occupational engagement of adults with intellectual disabilities in a community-based day program. Data were collected through interviews using visual supports and through observation of activity groups using the Volitional Questionnaire. Thematic analysis illustrated how participants demonstrated engagement in occupation through doing activity/initiating action, expressing positive affect, and showing focused attention. Findings can inform how occupational therapy practitioners describe and facilitate occupational engagement in adults with intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


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