Life Balance: Multidisciplinary Theories and Research

Front Cover
Kathleen M. Matuska, Charles Christiansen
SLACK Incorporated, 2009 - Medical - 274 pages

Life Balance: Multidisciplinary Theories and Research is a unique volume that offers empirical research and theories for a concept not yet widely recognized in the scientific community. Kathleen Matuska and Charles Christiansen, joined by Helene Polatajko and Jane Davis, have assembled scholars who address various ways to think about balanced lifestyles and how this timely concept compares to other ideas about human well-being.

Some sample chapter topics include:

  • Multiple Roles and Life Balance
  • Defining and Validating Measures of Life Balance: Suggestions, A New Measure, and Some Preliminary Results
  • Optimal Life Style-Mix: An Inductive Approach
  • Life Balance: The Meaning and the Menace in a Metaphor
  • The "Hurried" Child: Myth vs. Reality
  • Emotional Regulation, Processing, and Recovery after Acquired Brain Injury: Contributors to Life Balance

This rich collection of ideas results from a conference involving international scientists who gathered for a discussion on theory and research related to lifestyles that promote health and longevity. The book identifies conceptual commonalities, relationships, and differences associated with life balance research going on in various disciplines but often described using different terminology.

Who will be interested in Life Balance: Multidisciplinary Theories and Research?

  • Scientists in the occupational therapy and occupational science communities
  • Professionals in public health, community health, and wellness
  • Scientists from family and leisure studies, as well as time use scientists
  • Specialists in human resource development, including life coaches and executive coaches
  • Those specializing in psychology and sociology, social gerontology, social anthropology, social geography and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences

This groundbreaking and forward-thinking text, co-published with AOTA Press, provides a multidisciplinary approach to learning about patterns and characteristics of everyday living that may contribute to reduced stress, lower levels of chronic illness, and happier, longer lives.

In this time of multiple global challenges, the timeliness, relevance and importance of stimulating research that cuts across multiple disciplines to shed insight on lifestyles that may lead to improved coping is easily apparent. Life Balance: Multidisciplinary Theories and Research was assembled with that end in mind.

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About the author (2009)

Kathleen Matuska is the Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy Program Director in the School of Health at St. Catherine University. She has contributed to the life balance scholarly discussion through published journal articles and presentations at national and international conferences. Her research and scholarly interests are primarily about understanding or clarifying the construct of life balance and determining ways to measure life balance for ongoing research and clinical application.

Dr. Charles Christiansen
is Executive Director of The American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Previously, he spent three decades in academic roles at various universities, including the University of Minnesota, The University of Texas Medical Branch, and The University of British Columbia. Dr. Christiansen holds degrees in educational administration, counseling psychology, and occupational therapy. His scholarly and scientific interests inhabit the domain of lifestyle and health, with a particular focus on individual patterns of activity over the life course and how these influence well-being. He is particularly interested in how the interconnections of social, psychological, and neurophysiological mechanism explain adaptation to stressful circumstances.

Dr. Helene J. Polatajko
is an internationally acclaimed researcher, educator, and clinician with extensive experience in assessment and intervention research. Dr. Polatajko is extremely well-published with over 200 publications, including books, chapters, and peer-reviewed articles. She has given over 400 presentations in over 20 countries. Dr. Polatajko is one of the authors of the wellknown Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, now published in over 20 languages. She is also a primary author of Enabling Occupation II: Advancing an Occupational Therapy Vision for Health, Well-Being, & Justice Through Occupation. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Muriel Driver Lectureship and induction into the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research.

Jane A. Davis
is a lecturer in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. Jane's current research is focused on examining the causal mechanisms that have lead to the production and reproduction of the current work-life balance discourse. She has presented her work at numerous conferences, published in occupation-based journals, and is a co-author of numerous book chapters related to enabling occupation, occupational development, and methods of inquiry. She serves as a board member for the Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists and co-edits a column entitled "Sense of Doing," on behalf of CSOS, in the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists OT Now journal.

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