Date Presented 04/01/2022

This research examines an integrated conceptual model wherein self-efficacy explains OTs’ role perception with employability skills as mediator. Role perception is a vital component of understanding individuals’ concatenation in the workplace and combined expression of their psychological and socio-organizational dimensions. Thus, we assume high self-efficacy and employability skills may improve the role perception of OTs working in education systems.

Primary Author and Speaker: Yael Fogel

Additional Authors and Speakers: Liron Lamash

Educational systems are the main framework for occupational therapy services. However, little is known about how occupational therapists in these systems perceive their role, what employability skills they require, and how they affect self-efficacy. This research examines the relationships between role perception, employability skills, and self-efficacy of occupational therapists in educational systems using an integrated conceptual model. This cross-sectional study included 147 occupational therapists who work in education systems, aged 23 to 65 years (M = 38.37 years, SD = 10.13) with 0.5 to 35.0 years (M = 12.75 years, SD = 9.23) of professional seniority and full-time equivalency ranging from 17% to 121% (M = 75.23%, SD = 25.94). In addition, 42.9% had advanced degrees, and 33.3% had membership in professional organizations. All participants completed anonymous online questionnaires sent in a dedicated distribution group. The Role Perception Questionnaire for Occupational Therapists in education systems questionnaire (Lamash & Fogel, 2020) evaluates role perception among occupational therapists working in education systems worldwide. The Employability Key Questionnaire (Kulik & Benjamin, 2014) includes a list of employability skills that human resource departments rated as desirable in job candidates. The General Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Chen & Gully,1997) assesses a person’s sense of self-efficacy as they perceive it and as expressed in their life in general. The proposed model was analyzed by the structural equation model (SEM) using AMOS software to assess relationships among role perception, employability, and self-efficacy. Significant correlations were found among self-efficacy, employability skills, and role perception. The SEM provided excellent goodness of fit indices, χ2(24) = 40.49; p = .019; normed fit index = .93; comparative fit index = .97; root mean square error of approximation = .07; standardized root mean squared residual = .05. It explained 40% of the variance in role perception. The results of this model showed that self-efficacy led to employability skills (β = .50, p < .001), and the level of employability skills led to role perception (β = .62, p < .001). An indirect effect was found between self-efficacy and role perception, but the direct effect was not significant (β = .024, p = .968). This suggests employability skills as a mediator between self-efficacy and role perception. This study has implications for occupational therapists working in the education system to understand the meaningful effects of self-efficacy and employability skills as crucial in developing and improving their role perception. The findings highlight employability skills as the primary contributor that affects occupational therapists’ role perception. Self-efficacy and employment skills influence how occupational therapists working in education systems perceive their roles. Employment skills should be included in professional training and development courses. Occupational therapists need to develop employment skills to meet the organization’s demands in general and the profession’s demands in particular. Therefore, professional training that includes the practice of these employability skills may be an effective and proactive scaffold.


Lamash, L., & Fogel, Y. (2021). Role perception and professional identity of occupational therapists working in education systems. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. Advance online publication.

Kulik, L., & Benjamin, B. (2014). “Key to employment”: Diagnosing soft skills to promote young employment [Report, School of Social Work]. Bar Ilan University, Israel.

Chen, G., & Gully, S. M. (1997). Specific self-efficacy, general self-efficacy, and self-esteem: Are they distinguishable constructs? Paper presented at the Academy of Management 57th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.