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Abstract

Children are occupational beings and as such are born with an innate desire to experience learning, control, and mastery. This intrinsic motivation and ability to engage in occupations or everyday life activities is what establishes purpose and fulfillment, enables physical and emotional health and well-being, organizes behavior, and improves quality of life. In childhood, these occupations include education, play and leisure, social participation, activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), rest and sleep, and work. Development and competence in these areas as children and youth influence success, interests, and values in adult occupations.

Along a developmental continuum, childhood occupations affect skill acquisition and in turn serve as the source by which skills develop, creating a bidirectional and complex relationship. Areas of developmental progression include sensory, motor, socio-emotional and cognitive process abilities. Well-being and health of children and youthisinfluencedbydevelopmentalcapacities, the ability to participate inoccupations, and multiple contextual factors, including the social and physical environments in which these occupations occur.

This chapter aims to explore the occupations of children and youth and discuss how engagement in these occupations relates to and affects health, development, and well-being.

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Feldhacker, D.R., Cerny, S., Brockevelt, B.L., Lawler, M.J. (2018). Occupations and Well-Being in Children and Youth. In: Rodriguez de la Vega, L., Toscano, W. (eds) Handbook of Leisure, Physical Activity, Sports, Recreation and Quality of Life. International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75529-8_8

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