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Research Article  |   April 1986
The Relationships Between Volition, Activity Pattern, and Life Satisfaction in the Elderly
Author Affiliations
  • Nancy Riopel Smith, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist, People, Inc, Brighton Park Developmental Treatment Center, Tonawanda, NY 14150
  • Gary Kielhofner, DrPH, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215
  • Janet Hawkins Watts, MS, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA 23298
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Features
Research Article   |   April 1986
The Relationships Between Volition, Activity Pattern, and Life Satisfaction in the Elderly
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1986, Vol. 40, 278-283. doi:10.5014/ajot.40.4.278
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1986, Vol. 40, 278-283. doi:10.5014/ajot.40.4.278
Abstract

This study examines the relationships between the volition subsystem, activity pattern, and life satisfaction of 60 elderly individuals. The volition subsystem includes an individual’s interests, values, and personal causation. The Occupational Questionnaire (OQ) was developed to measure volition subsystems and activity patterns, and it was pilot tested for reliability and validity. Scores on the OQ were compared with measures of subjects’ life satisfaction.

Results of the study identified several aspects of the subjects’ occupations that were related to their level of life satisfaction. The most important findings were the positive correlations between the degree of interest, value, and personal causation in occupation and life satisfaction. Time spent in work and leisure was found to be correlated more highly with high levels of life satisfaction than was time spent in daily living tasks and rest. Although further verification of these results is needed, these findings indicate that occupational therapists may enhance the life satisfaction of their elderly patients by emphasizing interests, values, personal causation, work, and leisure in their treatment programs.