Laura Yvonne Bulk
Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
Being Blind in a Sighted World
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No abstract available.
One of the key factors for promoting well-being lies in balancing one's daily life occupations and the nature of these occupations. Yet it is not clear what constitutes occupational balance, and its association to other factors has not been examined systematically. This dissertation proposed and tested a conceptual model for examining well-being from an occupational perspective using structural equation modeling. The proposed model stated the mediating role of occupational characteristics and occupational imbalance in the relationship between personality and well-being. Four studies were conducted in order to develop and test the model. The first three studies explored the measurement aspect of occupational balance and well-being, whereas the fourth study tested the overall model (the relationships among the model constructs). Method: 122 adults completed the Cross Impact Matrix (CIM) of the Personal Projects Analysis (PPA) to measure occupational balance; the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS); the Positive Affect Negative Affect Scales, and the Self-Rated Health scale to measure well-being (study 1). As no correlation was found between well-being and occupational balance, measured by the CIM, a pilot sample (n=24) completed the same instruments, except occupational balance was measured using an alternative tool, the Inter-goal Relations Questionnaire (IRQ). Results indicated that occupational balance and occupational imbalance were two distinct dimensions that should be measured separately using unipolar scales. This led to additional studies while examining occupational imbalance using the IRQ and focusing on one aspect of well-being (life satisfaction). 288 adults completed the IRQ (occupational imbalance), the PPA Rating Matrix (occupational characteristics), the Big Five Inventory (personality traits) and the SWLS (well-being). Results supported the unidimensional structure of occupational imbalance (study 2) and well-being (study 3); whereas, the overall tested models were partially confirmed (study 4). Occupational characteristics served as significant mediators between personality and well-being, yet occupational imbalance did not. Conclusion: the quality of occupations is what is important to well-being, rather than the way individuals balance them. These findings are in line with very recent and innovative theories for viewing balance. New lines of inquiry are suggested to further explore the concept of occupational balance and its effect on well-being.
Introduction:Many individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience long term or life-long changes in social participation and quality of life, including social isolation, loneliness, reduced involvement in social and leisure activities, decreased social support networks and reduced satisfaction with life. There are few community-based interventions available to address these issues, and little research on their effectiveness. The brain injury drop-in centre (BIDC) is an innovative model of long-term support not yet addressed in the literature.Purpose:(a) To determine if there is a relationship between social participation and subjective quality of life (SQOL) for community-dwelling individuals with TBI.(b) To compare social participation and SQOL for individuals with TBI who attend BIDCs with individuals who do not attend but who have been identified as potentially benefitting from attending.Methods:Subjects. Participants were 23 individuals recruited from BIDCs (‘BIDC group’) and 19 individuals recruited through community-based clinicians and service providers (‘Comparison group’). The Comparison group was found to consist of 7 participants who stated that maybe they would attend a BIDC but for the most part were too busy to attend (‘Maybe group’), and 12 participants who stated that yes they would attend but were not aware of BIDCs or experienced a contextual barrier to attendance (‘Yes group’).Design. A cross sectional design was implemented with convenience sampling. Results:The correlational analysis (Chapter Two) showed statistically significant associations involving SQOL and the social and subjective measures of social participation. The comparison study (Chapter Three) found the BIDC group to have, on average, higher levels of SQOL and social participation than the Comparison group, in particular as compared to the Yes group. Conclusions:This exploratory study contributes to the TBI literature in showing that it is the more subjective and not objectively measured nature of participation that is associated with SQOL. Findings provide tentative support that attendance at BIDCs may benefit social participation and SQOL. This study provides a foundation for more rigorous quantitative investigation of the effectiveness and efficacy of BIDCs, as well as direction for qualitative studies to further explore social participation, SQOL and the experience of attending BIDCs.