Ruth S. Farber

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Ruth S. Farber, MSW, PhD, OTR/L, earned her BS in occupational therapy (OT) from Temple University and her MSW (specializing in family studies) from the University of Pennsylvania. Within the PhD program in counseling psychology at Temple, she completed her doctoral dissertation research on women’s personal, family and career development, and she has continued to be an enthusiastic scholar of women’s holistic development. Dr. Farber returned to teach in the master of occupational therapy program for over 20 years, as well as in the online occupational therapy doctorate program. Her courses integrated psycho-social aspects of disability, developmental and family systems perspectives, and included research mentoring.

While a TU OT faculty member, Dr. Farber expanded her studies to include the 'voices' of mothers with disabilities and chronic conditions. Her research was published in a "groundbreaking text" written by and for occupational therapy researchers and practitioners, Mothering occupations: Challenge, participation and agency. With a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (2008), she examined maternal role participation, well-being, social support, and health of mothers with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Numerous Temple OT students collaborated and co-presented with her. She included factors (from positive psychology) that maximize role participation (a key component of health), occupational engagement and well-being of women/mothers with chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis. Empowering mothers/women across the lifecycle and helping individuals with chronic conditions engage in life as fully as possible has always been important to Dr. Farber.

Dr. Farber continued to teach online and received an Excellence in Synchronous Learning Award from the National University Telecommunications Network (2010). She was awarded emeritus status (2013) with a research lab entitled "Disability & Chronic Illness: Women's Health, Well-being and Participation." Since 2017, she responded to a national and international groundswell of interest in OT and maternal/women’s health by developing a women’s health ‘think tank’ with fellow researchers, academics and leaders. For further information about this lab or ‘think tank,’ please contact

Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD, Counseling Psychology, Temple University
    • Dissertation: Career Orientation, Personality and Attitudinal Characteristics of Women in Three Family Life Cycle Groups
  • MSW, Clinical Social Work, University of Pennsylvania
  • BS, Occupational Therapy, Temple University (Inaugural class)