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Research Article  |   July 1987
The Effects of Tool Scarcity on Group Climate and Affective Meaning Within the Context of a Stenciling Activity
Author Affiliations
  • Jean A. Steffan, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist, Psychiatric Unit, The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio 45219
  • David L. Nelson, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Graduate Coordinator and Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Article Information
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Research Article   |   July 1987
The Effects of Tool Scarcity on Group Climate and Affective Meaning Within the Context of a Stenciling Activity
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 1987, Vol. 41, 449-453. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.7.449
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 1987, Vol. 41, 449-453. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.7.449
Abstract

Occupational therapists conducting activity analyses often consider the effects of supplies and tools on group process. This study compared three levels of tool supply within the context of a stenciling activity: high scarcity (one essential tool per three subjects), moderate scarcity (two essential tools per three subjects), and no scarcity (three essential tools per three subjects). Thirty-six female subjects rated the activity using Osgood’s short-form semantic differential and MacKenzie’s Group Climate Questionnaire–Short Form. The data supported the hypothesis of higher group engagement scores in the moderate level of supply than in the high-scarcity or no-scarcity conditions. Though low in all conditions, conflict scores were especially low in the moderate scarcity condition. An unexpected result was found: Subjects experiencing high scarcity had the shortest completion time. No differences between the three supply levels in terms of affective meaning were found. The findings are discussed in terms of the literature of small groups and occupational therapy theory.