The occupational wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness

Thomas, Yvonne, Gray, Marion Alexandra, and McGinty, Sue (2017) The occupational wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness. Journal of Occupational Science, 24 (2). pp. 181-192.

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This paper reports findings of a study that utilised an occupational perspective to explore how well-being was achieved and sustained by the occupations of people experiencing homelessness in Australia. Thirty three in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with homeless individuals in a regional city in Australia. Data from the interviews were thematically analysed to understand the relationship between well-being, as defined by the individual, and the occupations engaged in by people experiencing homelessness. The findings are reported here as three collective narratives that illustrate the experiences of diverse groups within the homelessness population explored in this study. The study demonstrates how occupations go beyond individual experience and choice to explore the social and cultural value of occupations as a means to well-being. The findings are discussed in relation to three key themes that emerged from the study: survival, self-identity and social connectedness. These interconnected concepts complement the existing occupational science literature, and offer a preliminary framework for understanding and improving well-being for disadvantaged and marginalised people where occupations are restricted by societal forces. The findings support the urgent need to redirect services to support occupational opportunities that are socially and culturally valued and enhance survival, self-identity and connectedness of homeless people.

Item ID: 48548
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2158-1576
Keywords: homeless; identity; connectedness; occupational justice; indigenous
Date Deposited: 17 May 2018 00:31
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420403 Psychosocial aspects of childbirth and perinatal mental health @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441016 Urban sociology and community studies @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940599 Work and Institutional Development not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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