Jane Davis


Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
(416) 978-4262



Jane received a BSc (Psych) from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and her BScOT and MSc from The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. She is a registered occupational therapist in Ontario and with the NBCOT (U.S.A.). Jane has worked as an occupational therapist with individuals of all ages with diverse occupational performance and engagement issues, within various settings, including inpatient general medicine, rehab, skilled nursing, mental health and addictions; outpatient paediatrics, and adult orthopaedics and neurology; and homecare – adult neurology and orthopaedics.

Jane’s current research is focused on examining the causal mechanisms that have lead to the production and re-production of the current work-life balance discourse. She has presented her work at various conferences, including CAOT, CSOS, OSOT, AOTA, and WFOT, and published in occupation-based journals. Jane is a co-author of numerous book chapters, including five in Enabling Occupation II, three on occupational development, and one on methods of inquiry. Jane is an associate editor of the text, Lifestyle balance: Multidisciplinary research and theories, along with Kathleen Matuska, Charles Christiansen (editors) and Helene Polatajko (associate editor). She was Co-editor of the ‘Sense of Doing’ column in OT Now, and was Acting Editor-in-chief from November 2011-2012 and is currently an Associate Editor for qualitative review of the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Selected Recent Publications
  1. Stewart, K. E., Fischer, T. M., Hirji, R., & Davis, J. A. (2015). Toward the reconceptualization of the relationship between occupation and health and well-being. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Advance online publication.
  2. Polatajko, H. J., & Davis, J. A., McEwen, S. (2015). Therapeutic use of self: Being an enabler, an educator and an agent of change. In C. Christiansen, C. Baum, & J. Bass-Haugen (Eds.), Occupational therapy: Performance, participation, and well-being (4th ed., pp. 81–92). Thorofare, NJ: Slack. .
  3. Lencucha, J., Davis, J. A., & Polatajko, H. J. (2013). Living in a blended world: The occupational experiences of children of immigrant parents. Journal of Occupational Science, 20, 185–200. (2nd Special Edition on Immigration, Occupation and Well-being) doi:10.1080/14427591.2013.786799.
  4. Mullen, R., Davis, J. A., & Polatajko, H. J. (2012). Passion in the performing arts: Clarifying active occupational development. Work: A Journal of Assessment, Prevention and Rehabilitation (Special Edition), 41, 15–25. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-1236.
  5. Davis, J. A., & Polatajko, H. J. (2010). Occupational development. In C. Christiansen & E. Townsend (Eds.), Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living (2nd ed.; pp. 135-174). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  6. Matuska, K., & Christiansen, C. (Eds.), with Polatajko, H., & Davis, J. (Assoc. Eds.). (2009). Life balance: Multidisciplinary research and theories. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press and Slack, Inc.
Recent Thesis/Projects Supervised
  1. Chan, M., & Wincentak, J. (2015). Reconsidering prematurity: Exploring the occupational repertoires of children born premature (Co-supervised with L. Cooper, H. Polatajko, T. Pontes).
  2. Lui, J., & Toma, K. (2015). Youth’s Perceptions of Theatre Participation Within Their Daily Lives. (Co-supervised with L. Pounsett, H. Polatajko, L. Adamson)
  3. Rozenblit, Y., & Haq, J. (2015). The Occupational Lives of Women Who Have Experienced Childhood Trauma. (Co-supervised with A. Fourt).
  4. Jabbari, A., & De Leon, D. (2015). Occupational Narratives of Women with Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders. (Co-supervised with H. Rais & B. Trentham)
  5. Fischer, T., & Stewart, K. (2014). Toward the reconceptualization of the relationship between occupation and health and well-being. (Co-supervised with R. Hirji)
Research Interests

Jane’s substantive area of interest is in occupational development across the life course, with her current focus in three areas:

  • occupational development in children
  • work-life balance discourses
  • construct of occupational engagement
Current Courses
  • OCT 1111Y: Foundations for Occupational Therapy
Special Lectures / Keynote Speeches
  1. Continuing professional development workshop: Infusing OCCUPATION into occupational therapy practice: Concepts and models for an evolving profession. University of Toronto – Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.
    January 14, 28, Feb 11, 25, Mar 25, 2009.
    January 18, Feb 1, & Feb 15, 2007.
  2. Invited presentation: Pushing the boundaries of practice: The evolving Canadian occupational therapy perspective. Bloorview Kids Rehab, Toronto, ON. Nov 4, 2008. (with co-presenter Helene Polatajko).
  3. Invited presentation: Occupational science and its relationship to occupational therapy. Providence Healthcare Centre, Toronto, ON. May 1, 2008.
  4. Invited presentation: Life balance discourses – Why here? Why now? The responsibilities and privileges. Paper presented at the International Life Balance Conference, Kingston, ON., April 14th, 2007.