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Purpose: A paradigm shift is taking place in pediatric rehabilitation research, practice, and policy – a shift towards the real-life contexts of clients rather than requiring clients to navigate the world of pediatric rehabilitation. This article proposes a conceptual framework to bring about a broader awareness of clients’ lives and transactional processes of change over the life course.

Method: The framework draws attention to transactional processes by which individuals, situated in life contexts, change and adapt over the life course and, in turn, influence their contextual settings and broader environments. This framework is based on (a) basic tenets derived from foundational theories taking a life course perspective to change, and (b) transactional processes identified from relevant pediatric rehabilitation models that bring these foundational theories into the pediatric rehabilitation sphere.

Results: The framework identifies three types of transactional processes relevant to pediatric rehabilitation: facilitative, resiliency, and socialization processes. These processes describe how contexts and people mutually influence each other via opportunities and situated experiences, thus facilitating capacity, adaptation to adversity, and socialization to new roles and life transitions.

Conclusions: The utility of the framework is considered for research, practice, service organizations, and policy.

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access