Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Claire Callan

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Timmer

Third Advisor

Dr. David Nelson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Through activity analysis, occupational therapists identify various components of group structure and group processes for use in therapeutic activities. This study compared the effects of individual activity group structure (members engage in individual projects) and common activity group structure (members share a common project) in a sample of 38 acute-care psychiatric patients. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of eight theme-oriented poster-making groups, four for each experimental condition. Cohesion among group members was measured by the Group Environment Scale (GES), engagement was assessed by the Group Climate Questionnaire-Short Form (GCQ-S), and affective meanings were evaluated by Osgood's short-form semantic differential (OSD). Supporting the hypothesis, the common activity groups rated the experience as more active than did the individual activity groups. There were no other significant differences between the two experimental conditions. However, significant differences were found between groups nested within the experimental conditions on all variables. Results are discussed in terms of individual contributions to group process. Implications for occupational therapy treatment and suggestions for future research are discussed.