Ruth Humphry, PhD OTR/L, FAOTA

OS_Humphry.jpgDivision Director,
Professor of Occupational Science,
Coordinator of PhD curriculum in Occupational Science
Suite 2050 Bondurant Hall – CB #7122
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Office Phone: (919) 966-2452


PhD, Ohio State University - 1985
Family Relations and Human Development
Minor: Developmental Psychology

MS, Colorado State University - 1979
Human Development and Family Studies Minor: Occupational Therapy

BS, San Jose State University - 1971
Occupational Therapy

Personal Statement

Education: When it comes to education philosophically, I agree with John Dewey, education prepares a person for a lifetime of learning. Whether the students are in a class preparing to become occupational therapists or in the doctoral program pursuing an academic career in occupational science, I believe they have set themselves on a path of reflective learning for their lifetime. As an instructor my goal is to collaborate with students in learning how to think, challenge knowledge presented as fact, as well as integrate and apply information to solve new problems. As a scientist I hope to generate a deeper understanding of how occupation joins children with their life situations (such as families, peer groups and educational settings).

Occupations: I love watching and being part of nature. I jump at opportunities to walk in the woods, hike in mountains, see far away places and reflect on the complexity of nature at my feet and around home.

Courses Taught (current)

Master in Occupational Therapy Curriculum

OCCT 828 Occupational Science: Children & Adolescents
OCCT 890 Research Seminar (2 credits)
OCCT 992 Applied Research Experience (2 credits)

Doctoral in Occupational Science Curriculum

OCSC 890 Occupational Science Seminar on Changes in Occupation
OCSC 844 Research Theory & Methodology in Occupational Science/Therapy

Research and scholarly interests:

o Development of occupations in childhood
o Families & family-centered early intervention
o Qualitative research methods & theory of change
o Application of theory of change to intervention
o Parents & children during mealtime activities

Recent Publications

Humphry, R. (2009). Occupation and development: A contextual perspective. In E.B. Crepeau, E.S Cohn, & B.A.B. Schell, (Eds.). Willard and Spackman's occupational therapy (11th ed.) (pp.22-32), Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Humphry, R. & Wakeford, L. (2008). Development of everyday activities: A model for occupation-centered therapy. Infants & Young Children. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Special Care Practices, 21, 230-240.

McNamara, P. & Humphry, R. (2007). Now this is what you do: Developing structured routines. OTJR Occupation, Participation and Health, 27 (supplement), S88-S89.

Humphry, R. & Wakeford, L. (2006). An occupation-centered discussion of development and implications for practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60, 258-267.

Humphry, R. & Case-Smith, J. (2005). Working with families. In J. Case-Smith (Ed.) Occupational Therapy for Children (5th edition) (pp. 117-153). St Louis: Elsevier/Mosby.

Humphry, R. (2005). Model of Processes Transforming Occupations: Exploring societal and social influences. Journal of Occupational Science, 12, 36-41.