Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Occupational Therapy


This study examined the life experiences of male occupational therapists and how various life experiences influenced their choice of career. Research in occupational therapy has not addressed this topic, focusing instead on external influences, such as salary, advancement and prestige on career choice for male therapists. In order to study more intrinsic influences of male occupational therapists, this study interviewed male therapists using semi-structured interviews and hermeneutic data collection and analysis techniques. The results indicate a dynamic relationship between personal history, selfexpression and professional issues that contribute to how meaningful occupational therapy is to the males in this study. This paper discusses a model of personal meaning as a framework for understanding male occupational therapists. The model of personal meaning illustrates that personal meaning regarding the males’ career choice was derived from both personal beliefs and professional practice centered on enablement through occupational activity. Implications for practice, education and supervision are discussed.


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