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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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PhD in Occupational Science

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.


Miranda Donnelly MS, OTR/L
Feasibility, acceptability, and implementation context of a complex telerehabilitation intervention for post-stroke upper extremity recovery Full text Show abstract

Aditya Jayashankar
Core, social and moral disgust processing in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Full text Show abstract


Emily Campi MA, OTR/L
Examining parent responsiveness to sensory reactivity and regulation cues of infants with developmental risk factors Full text Show abstract


Linah AlShaalan
An exploratory study of autistic women’s lived experiences and social connectivity using narrative phenomenology and social network analysis Full text Show abstract

Dominique Como
The intersection of oral care experiences, culture, and autism for Black American families: A mixed methods study

Sandy C. Takata OTD, OTR/L
Precision care to optimize safe return to function following surgical flexor tendon repair

Buwen Yao
Effects of occupation on physiologic biomarkers: Doppler sonographic evaluation of intraneural blood flow Full text Show abstract


Christiana Butera
Behavioral and neural influences of interoception and alexithymia on emotional empathy in autism spectrum disorders Full text Show abstract

Yun-Ju (Claire) Chen
Developmental trajectories of sensory patterns in young children with and without autism spectrum disorder: A longitudinal population-based study from infancy to school age Full text Show abstract

Raymond Hernandez
Whole day workload, activity engagement, and psychological state Full text Show abstract

Cristin Holland
Developmental trajectories, maternal-Infant transactions, and child outcomes of social-emotional competence and sensory processing Full text Show abstract

Kaori (Lily) Ito
Neural and psychosocial correlates of age-related differences in goal-directed and habitual decision-making

David Turnbull
Of barriers and breach: A narrative phenomenology of autism, community, and occupation Full text Show abstract


Lucía Floríndez
A mixed-methods exploration of oral health beliefs and practices among Latino families with typically developing children or children with autism

Mark Hardison
Exploring the effects of mindfulness on psychosocial factors for patients receiving hand therapy Full text Show abstract

Carin Wong
What do nursing home residents do? Exploring residents’ engagement in activities Full text Show abstract


Kristine Carandang
Activity engagement of young adults with autoimmune arthritis: A multi-method approach Full text Show abstract

Carol Haywood
Situated experiences: A qualitative study of day-to-day life and participation of adolescents and young adults with a spinal cord injury and their caregivers Full text Show abstract

Emily Kilroy
Social and motor skills in autism spectrum disorder & developmental coordination disorder: functional & structural neurobiology Full text Show abstract


Alison M. Cogan
Optimizing participation of military service members with chronic symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury Full text Show abstract

Alexandra G. (Alix) Sleight
Supportive care needs of low-income Latina breast cancer survivors Full text Show abstract


Amber Michelle Angell
Understanding bilingual Latino parents’ experiences of their children’s autism services in Los Angeles: a critical ethnography Full text Show abstract


Michelle L. Elliot
Unpacking experiences and narratives: life changing, changing life, or merely taking a trip Full text Show abstract

Amanda Colleen Foran
Social interaction moderates enjoyment and perception of physical activity during exergame play in young adults with autism spectrum disorders Full text Show abstract


Aaron Bonsall
An ethnographic study of men fathering children with disabilities Full text Show abstract

Linda M. Muccitelli
An analysis of birth stories of adults with spina bifida Full text Show abstract

Leah I. Stein
Oral care and sensory sensitivities in children with autism spectrum disorders Full text Show abstract

Julie Marie Werner
Structural and functional neural correlates of developmental dyspraxia in the mirror neuron system Full text Show abstract


Sook-Lei Liew
Experience modulates neural activity during action understanding: exploring sensorimotor and social cognitive interactions Full text Show abstract

Deborah B. Pitts
Thinking like a PSC: An exploratory study of the practice reasoning of personal service coordinators in a full-service partnership Full text Show abstract


David Andrew Leary
Lived experiences of gay men with HIV: intersections of portraiture, narrative and engagement Full text Show abstract

Clarissa Saunders-Newton
Spirituality and well being in the daily lives of African American women Full text Show abstract


Jeanine Martin Blanchard
A mixed methods study of older adults in a Lifestyle Redesign® program Full text Show abstract

Chang-Chih Kuo
The relationship of expectation and satisfaction of filial piety with stroke-related outcomes of Chinese older adults in stroke rehabilitation Full text Show abstract

Abbey Lynn Marterella
One size fits none: theorizing weight management in the everyday lives of adults with serious mental illness Full text Show abstract

Elizabeth Ann Pyatak
Diabetes management in the everyday lives of emerging adults Full text Show abstract


Karla Ausderau
Mothers' experiences with feeding children with a gastrostomy tube: recontextualizing mothers' daily occupations Full text Show abstract

Chia-Chen Megan Chang
Autonomic and behavioral responses of children with autism to auditory stimulation Full text Show abstract

Kimberly Wilkinson
Mothers’ perspectives on everyday life with children with autism: Mealtimes explored Full text Show abstract


Lori Jean Breeden
Transformative occupations: life experiences of performers with disabilities in film and television Full text Show abstract

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

Thomas John Mernar
Place integration of newly relocated nursing facility residents: understanding the links of occupation and environment to health Full text Show abstract


Aaron M. Eakman
A reliability and validity study of the meaningful activity participation assessment Full text Show abstract

Susan Saylor Stouffer
Occupation in the lives of adults with schizophrenia: creations of hope Full text Show abstract

Yu-Ren Su
Parenting in a foreign land: the lived experience of Taiwanese immigrants with disabled children in the United States Full text Show abstract


Julie McLaughlin Gray
A longitudinal analysis of occupation in stroke recovery: A single case history Full text Show abstract

Alice Kibele
At play with meaning: Toys and other favorite objects in the everyday lives of young children Full text Show abstract

Tomoko Kondo
Recovery from life crisis through occupations: Eight stories in the novel "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami Full text Show abstract

Etsuko Odawara
Life crisis in old age: Occupation, culture and the problem of "good aging" in Japan Full text Show abstract


Mats Eric Ken Asaba
"I'm not much different": Occupation, identity, and spinal cord injury in America Full text Show abstract

Christy Billock
Delving into the center: Women's lived experience of spirituality through occupation Full text Show abstract

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

Susan Jane Forwell
The Personal Projects Approach: A method to use with persons with multiple sclerosis Full text Show abstract

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

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

Sarinya Sriphetcharawut
Mothering occupations: An ethnographic study of Thai women with physical disabilities in the north of Thailand Full text Show abstract


Renee Paula McDannel
Classroom occupations from the perspectives of three high school students with attention deficit disorder Full text Show abstract

Valerie J. O'Brien
The relationship between family routines and perceived stress in mothers with children with and without a disability Full text Show abstract

Maria Theresa S. Peralta
"From where are you back home?": Ethnography of Filipina domestic workers spending Sundays at Statue Square Full text Show abstract


Nancy Bagatell
Constructing identities in social worlds: Stories of four adults with autism Full text Show abstract

Bonnie Freeman
Parenting adolescents with the Internet in the household: A qualitative study Full text Show abstract

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

I-Ching Lee
A comparison of the play performance of boys with autism and that of boys without disabilities in Taiwan Full text Show abstract

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

Wenchun Qu
Quality of daily occupational experience and its relationship with adolescent tobacco smoking Full text Show abstract


Don Michael Gordon
Therapeutics and science in the history of occupational therapy Full text Show abstract

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


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

Susan Lanell Spitzer
No words necessary: An ethnography of daily activities with young children who don't talk Full text Show abstract


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


Shan-Pin Cynthia Fanchiang
Participation in occupation and quality of life in individuals with Parkinson's disease Full text Show abstract

Elizabeth Snow Russel
Career change in mothers of children with disabilities Full text

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


Erna Imperatore Blanche
Play and process: The experience of play in the life of the adult Full text Show abstract

Louise Jane Farnworth
The time use and subjective experience of occupations of young male and female legal offenders Full text

Linda Lou Florey
Summer camp as a transformative experience Full text Show abstract

Bonnie Lynn Kennedy
Feeling and doing: Health and mind-body-context interactions during daily occupations of women with HIV/AIDS Full text Show abstract

Heidi McHugh Pendleton
Establishment and sustainment of friendships of women with physical disability: The role of participation in occupation Full text Show abstract


Susan Hirsch Knox
Play and play styles of preschool children Full text

Phyllis Joyce Meltzer
The Self-Discovery Tapestry instrument used by mid-life women who are changing occupations through higher education Full text Show abstract


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

Doris Emma Pierce
Infant space, infant time: Development of infant interactions with the physical environment, from 1 to 18 months Full text Show abstract


Jeanne Marie Jackson
Lesbian identities, daily occupations, and health care experiences Full text Show abstract

Ferol Menks Ludwig
The use and meaning of routine in women over seventy years of age Full text Show abstract

Loree Ann Primeau
Orchestration of work and play within families Full text Show abstract

Ruth Segal
Family adaptation to a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Full text Show abstract

Wendy Hower Wood
Environmental influences upon the relationship of engagement in occupation to adaptation among captive chimpanzees Full text Show abstract

JoAnne Wright
Occupational restructuring by and selected psychological characteristics of older adults after the death of their spouse Full text Show abstract


Sheama Seshagiri Rao Krishnagiri
The occupation of mate selection Full text Show abstract

Jin-Ling (Julia) Lo
The relationship between affective experiences during daily occupations and subjective well-being measures Full text Show abstract