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Research Article  |   April 1997
Competency Beliefs and Occupational Role Behavior Among Adolescents: Explication of the Personal Causation Construct
Author Affiliations
  • Alexis D. Henry, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial and Forensic Services Research, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655
  • Wendy J. Coster, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Article Information
Mental Health / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Research
Research Article   |   April 1997
Competency Beliefs and Occupational Role Behavior Among Adolescents: Explication of the Personal Causation Construct
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1997, Vol. 51, 267-276. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.4.267
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1997, Vol. 51, 267-276. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.4.267
Abstract

According to the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO), beliefs regarding competency can influence whether a person’s occupational role behavior is adaptive or maladaptive. Such beliefs are considered to be part of a person’s sense of “personal causation.” This article reviews some of the theoretical underpinnings of the personal causation construct. Issues addressed are the distinction between competency beliefs and locus of control (another aspect of personal causation according to the MOHO); the domain-specific nature of competency beliefs; and, in particular, the evidence for a relationship between competency beliefs and actual behavior. The article focuses on competency beliefs and their relationship to three domains of occupational behavior that have relevance for adolescents: academic ability, social competence, and physical competence. Implications for clinical practice with adolescents with psychiatric disorders are addressed.