The occupational wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness

Thomas, Yvonne and Gray, Marion Alexandra and McGinty, Sue (2017) The occupational wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness. Journal of Occupational Science, 24 (2). pp. 181-192. ISSN 1442-7591

Text (Accepted Version)
1638762528664_PDF - Author Accepted Version.pdf

Download (407kB) | Preview


This paper reports findings of a study that utilised an occupational perspective to explore how well-being was achieved and sustained by the occupations of people experiencing homelessness in Australia. Thirty three in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with homeless individuals in a regional city in Australia. Data from the interviews were thematically analysed to understand the relationship between well-being, as defined by the individual, and the occupations engaged in by people experiencing homelessness. The findings are reported here as three collective narratives that illustrate the experiences of diverse groups within the homelessness population explored in this study. The study demonstrates how occupations go beyond individual experience and choice to explore the social and cultural value of occupations as a means to well-being. The findings are discussed in relation to three key themes that emerged from the study: survival, self-identity and social connectedness. These interconnected concepts complement the existing occupational science literature, and offer a preliminary framework for understanding and improving well-being for disadvantaged and marginalised people where occupations are restricted by societal forces. The findings support the urgent need to redirect services to support occupational opportunities that are socially and culturally valued and enhance survival, self-identity and connectedness of homeless people.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 45119
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 04:46
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2022 00:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: homeless, identity, connectedness, occupational justice, Indigenous, Clinical Sciences
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450420 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441099 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only