University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Occupational Science PhD Dissertations

In fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD in Occupational Science, doctoral candidates complete a written dissertation in consultation with their academic advisor. Dissertations typically include a rationale, a concise and incisive synthesis of literature, methods, preliminary data and publication plans for work emanating from the dissertation. Learn more about accessing full-length USC Occupational Science PhD dissertations at USC Libraries Dissertations LibGuides.

The names of all USC PhD in Occupational Science graduates, and their respective dissertation titles, are listed below:


Cogan, Alison
Optimizing participation of military service members with chronic symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury

Sleight, Alexandra
Supportive care needs of low-income Latina breast cancer survivors


Angell, Amber
Understanding bilingual Latino parents’ experiences of their children’s autism services in Los Angeles: A critical ethnography


Elliot, Michelle
Unpacking experiences and narratives of students: Life changing, changing life, or merely taking a trip

Foran, Amanda
Social interaction moderates enjoyment and perception of physical activity during exergame play in young adults with autism spectrum disorders


Bonsall, Aaron
An ethnographic study of men fathering children with disabilities

Muccitelli, Linda
An analysis of birth stories of adults with spina bifida

Stein, Leah
Oral care and sensory sensitivities in children with autism spectrum disorders

Werner, Julie
Structural and functional neural correlates of dyspraxia


Liew, Sook-Lei
Experience modulates neural activity during action understanding: Exploring sensorimotor and social cognitive interactions

Pitts, Deborah
Thinking like a PSC: An exploratory study of the practice reasoning of Personal Service Coordinators in a full service partnership


Leary, David
Lived experiences of gay men living with HIV: Intersections of portraiture, narrative, and engagement

Pyatak, Elizabeth
Diabetes management in the everyday lives of emerging adults


Blanchard, Jeanine
A mixed-methods study of older adults in a Lifestyle Redesign® program

Marterella, Abbey
One size fits none: Theorizing weight management in the everyday lives of adults with serious mental illness


Ausderau, Karla
Mothers’ negotiation of feeding occupations with their child who has a gastrostomy tube

Chang, Megan Chia-Chen
Autonomic and behavioral responses of children with autism to auditory stimulation

Kuo, Chang-Chih
The relationship of expectation and satisfaction of filial piety on stroke-related outcomes of Chinese older adults in stroke rehabilitation

Saunders Newton, Clarissa
Sustaining mechanisms of transformation: Spiritual practice and well-being in the daily lives of African American women

Wilkinson, Kimberly
Mothers’ perspectives on everyday life with children with autism: Mealtimes explored


Breeden, Lori Jean
Transformative occupations: Life experiences of performers with disabilities in film and television

Fogelberg, Donald J.
A complex systems view of habit and its impact on pressure ulcer risk in adults with spinal cord injury

Mernar, Thomas J.
Place integration of newly relocated nursing home residents: Understanding the links of occupation and environment to health


Eakman, Aaron M.
A reliability and validity study of the meaningful activity participation assessment

Stouffer, Susan Saylor
Occupation in the lives of adults with schizophrenia: Creations of hope

Su, Yu-Ren
Parenting in a foreign land: The lived experience of Taiwanese immigrants with disabled children in the United States


Kibele, Alice Anne
At play with meaning: Toys and other favorite objects in the everyday lives of young children

Kondo, Tomoko
Recovery from life crisis through occupations: Eight stories in the novel “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami

McLaughlin Gray, Julie Ann
A longitudinal analysis of occupation in stroke recovery: A singe case history

Odawara, Etsuko
Life crisis in old age: Occupation, culture and the problem of “Good Aging” in Japan


Asaba, Mats Eric Ken
“I’m not much different”: Occupation, identity, and spinal cord injury in America

Billock, Christy
Delving into the center: Women’s lived experiences of spirituality through occupation

Chang, Ling-Hui
Rehabilitative narratives of individuals with neurological illnesses and their caregivers in a rehabilitation unit in central Taiwan: An ethnographic study

Forwell, Susan Jane
The personal projects approach: A method to use with persons with multiple sclerosis

Hueker, Esther
Something’s happening: Emergence of social worlds on the school playground

Park, Melissa Marjorie
Narrative practices of intersubjectivity: An ethnography of children with autism in a sensory integration based occupational therapy clinic

Sriphetcharawut, Sarinya
Mothering occupations: An ethnographic study of Thai women with physical disabilities in the north of Thailand


McDannel, Renee Paula
Classroom occupations from the perspectives of three high school students with attention deficit disorder

O’Brien, Valerie J.
The relationship between family routines and perceived stress in mothers with children with and without a disability

Peralta, Maria Theresa S.
“From where are you back home?”: Ethnography of Filipina domestic workers spending Sundays at Statue Square


Bagatell, Nancy
Constructing identities in social worlds: Stories of four adults with autism

Freeman, Bonnie
Parenting adolescents with the Internet in the household: A qualitative study

Huang, Yan-Hua
Health-related quality of life, occupation and prosthesis use in elderly people with lower extremity amputation in Taiwan

Lee, I-Ching
A comparison of play performance of boys with autism and that of boys without disabilities in Taiwan

Price, Pollie Pauline
Occupation-centered practices: Providing opportunities for becoming and belonging

Qu, Wenchun
Quality of daily occupational experience and its relationship with adolescent tobacco smoking


Gordon, Don Michael
Therapeutics and science in the history of occupational therapy

Su, Chia-Ting
The relationships among five sensory systems in children with sensory integration problems as measured by the Evaluation of Sensory Processing (ESP)


McDonald, Ann Elizabeth
The after school occupations of homeless youth: Implications for occupational science, occupational therapy, and public policy

Spitzer, Susan Lanell
No words necessary: An ethnography of daily activities with young children who don’t talk


Kao, Chih-Chuan
Motivational orientation, achievement, and school-related occupations in Taiwanese gifted children


Fanchiang, Shan-Pin Cynthia
Participation in occupation and quality of life in individuals with Parkinson’s disease

Farnworth, Louise
The time use and subjective experience of occupations of young male and female legal offenders

Russel, Elizabeth
Career change in mothers of children with disabilities

White, Jr., John Anthony
Occupation and adaptation: An ethnographic study of ten people with disabilities using Title I of the ADA to fight employment discrimination


Blanche, Erna
Play and process: The experience of play in the life of the adult

Florey, Linda Lou
Summer camp as a transformative experience

Kennedy, Bonnie
Feeling and doing: Health and mind-body-context interactions during daily occupations of women with HIV/AIDS

Pendleton, Heidi McHugh
Establishment and sustainment of friendships of women with physical disability: The role of participation in occupation


Knox, Susan Hirsch
Play and play styles of preschool children

Meltzer, Phyllis
The Self-Discovery Tapestry Instrument used by mid-life women who are changing occupations through higher education


Larson, Elizabeth Ann
Embracing paradox: The daily experience and subjective well-being of Mexican-origin mothers parenting children with disabilities

Pierce, Doris Emma
Infant space, infant time: Development of infant interaction with the physical environment from one to 18 months


Jackson, Jeanne Marie
Lesbian identities, daily occupations, and health care experiences

Ludwig, Ferol Menks
The use and meaning of routine in women over seventy years of age

Primeau, Loree Ann
Orchestration of work and play within families

Segal, Ruth
Family adaptation to a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Wood, Wendy Hower
Environmental influences upon the relationship of engagement in occupation to adaptation among captive chimpanzees

Wright, JoAnne
Occupational restructuring by and selected psychological characteristics of older adults after the death of their spouse


Krishnagiri, Sheama Seshagiri
The occupation of mate selection

Lo, Jin-Ling Julia
The relationship between affective experiences during daily occupations and subjective well-being measures