Professional transitions: An exploration of the occupational adaptation model of professional development

Honaker, DeLana
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This dissertation evaluated the applicability of the Occupational Adaptation Model of Professional Development (OAMPD) (Schkade, 1999), to two different populations experiencing new occupational roles. This dissertation also explored the application of constructs from Occupational Adaptation (OA) (Schkade & Schultz, 1992) to the professional development model. The research for this dissertation included an in-depth literature review of OA and OAMPD constructs and three research studies that included quantitative, mixed design and qualitative methods.

In the quantitative study, the original construct of adaptive response behaviors from the OAMPD along with OA constructs of relative mastery (efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction), occupational environment and person system were particularly pertinent to both population groups. In the mixed design study, the Weekly Self-Evaluation Form (WSEF) was piloted with fieldwork students and their supervisors. This study's results indicated that the WSEF was positively effective in facilitating changes in performance behaviors for fieldwork students. The WSEF was also revised based on comments from both groups. In the third qualitative study, five new educators participated via a dedicated listserv and focus group meeting. Overall the experiences of these educators support the notions of OA that taking on a new occupational role involves changes in environmental and personal expectations, a need to find and develop resources, modifying or creating new modes of occupational behaviors, and changes in personal relative mastery.

While the OAMPD concentrates on the adaptive response behaviors, this dissertation suggests that other OA constructs, the notion of a complex occupational environment, relative mastery constructs (efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction to self and others), and occupational responses (existing, modified or new modes) have a legitimate place in professional development transitions. With the addition of these OA elements, the OAMPD was revised. (OAMPD - R, Honaker, 2001)

Health and environmental sciences, Education, Occupational adaptation, Professional development