This study examines the relationships between the volition subsystem, activity pattern, and life satisfaction of 60 elderly individuals. The volition subsystem includes an individual’s interests, values, and personal causation. The Occupational Questionnaire (OQ) was developed to measure volition subsystems and activity patterns, and it was pilot tested for reliability and validity. Scores on the OQ were compared with measures of subjects’ life satisfaction.

Results of the study identified several aspects of the subjects’ occupations that were related to their level of life satisfaction. The most important findings were the positive correlations between the degree of interest, value, and personal causation in occupation and life satisfaction. Time spent in work and leisure was found to be correlated more highly with high levels of life satisfaction than was time spent in daily living tasks and rest. Although further verification of these results is needed, these findings indicate that occupational therapists may enhance the life satisfaction of their elderly patients by emphasizing interests, values, personal causation, work, and leisure in their treatment programs.

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