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What is considered important for life balance? Similarities and differences among some working adults
Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ, Quality Improvement and Leadership in Health and Welfare.
Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ, Quality Improvement and Leadership in Health and Welfare. Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ, Dep. of Rehabilitation.
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ, Dep. of Rehabilitation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0756-6862
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2012 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, ISSN 1103-8128, E-ISSN 1651-2014, Vol. 19, no 4, 377-384 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Life balance seems subjective, health related, and multidimensional. However, the concept is complex. Exploring what people themselves consider more or less important for their life balance and whether this differs between people would develop new knowledge. Q methodology was chosen for the present study, in which 32 working men and women without recent long-term sick leave participated. They sorted 42 statements regarding life balance according to their importance for each participant's life balance. The analysis resulted in four different viewpoints concerning life balance. All four viewpoints considered good relationships with those closest to them, as well as knowing that these people were doing well, as important. Each viewpoint also showed a unique orientation towards what was considered important for life balance: occupational balance (viewpoint 1), self-actualization (viewpoint 2), self-awareness (viewpoint 3), and reciprocal relationships (viewpoint 4). The results. showed support for life balance as being a subjective, multidimensional, and health-related phenomenon. The results demonstrated the importance of relationships for life balance and heterogeneity in what people considered important for their own life balance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 19, no 4, 377-384 p.
Keyword [en]
Q methodology, self-reported health, subjectivity, Sweden, Western socio cultural perspective
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-14697DOI: 10.3109/11038128.2011.645552OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-14697DiVA: diva2:399987
Available from: 2011-02-24 Created: 2011-02-24 Last updated: 2015-12-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Conceptualizing life balance from an empirical and occupational therapy perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptualizing life balance from an empirical and occupational therapy perspective
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Although it is an important concept in occupational therapy, there is a need for further knowledge about life balance. This thesis explores the concept oflife balance - how people think about it and how it is used in occupational therapy.

Aim: The overall aim of the present thesis was to conceptualize life balance from an empirical and occupational therapy perspective in order to contribute to knowledge regarding the use of the concept in occupational therapy. The specific aims were to:

  • explore the perceptions of life balance among working people who had not recently been on long-term sick leave
  • explore what is considered important for life balance and whether or not this differs between people
  • use perceptions of life balance data from men and women in a healthy population to validate the Model of Lifestyle Balance
  • clarify the content in the concept of occupational balance as used within published articles related to occupational therapy

Methods: In Study I, 19 participants were interviewed about their perceptions of lifebalance. In Study II, 32 participants sorted statements about life balance according to their importance. In Study III, data from Study I were reanalysed in relation to Matuska and Christiansen’s Model of Lifestyle Balance. In Study IV a concept analysis of occupational balance in occupational therapy was conducted, encompassing 43 articles.

Results: Life balance was shown to be a subjective, dynamic, health-related and multidimensional concept. Similarities and differences between what the participants consider to be important for their life balance were revealed. Occupational balance was, in the concept analysis, shown to be a subjectively defined perception of having the right amount and variation of occupations.

Conclusions: The results of the thesis indicate that life balance and occupational balance are two separate concepts. While life balance includes occupational balance, it goes beyond it and also includes other aspects. Future research is requried to investigate the generality of the findings. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, 2012. 72 p.
Series
Hälsohögskolans avhandlingsserie, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 25
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-17220 (URN)
Public defence
2012-02-10, Forum Humanum, Barnarpsgatan 39, Jönköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-01-27 Created: 2012-01-18 Last updated: 2012-01-27Bibliographically approved

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