Factors Affecting CTRSs' Motivation to Join Professional Organizations in Recreational Therapy


  • Leandra A. Bedini, PhD, LRT/CTRS, FDRT The Univerisiy of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Ms. Kimberly D. Miller, MS, CPRP University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Ms. Kaitlyn N. Powalie, MS, CTRS
  • Jeff Labban, PhD University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Lauren Paynter, PhD American Heart Association




barriers, benefits, membership, professional commitment, professional organizations, recreational therapy


A strong professional organization has been associated with credibility and vitality of a profession. The field of recreational therapy (RT), however, has historically demonstrated poor membership on both national and state/regional levels. The purpose of this study was to examine what CTRSs identify as benefits as well as real/perceived barriers to membership in professional RT organizations and examine the relationship between membership status and professional commitment. A 43-item Qualtrics electronic questionnaire addressing benefits and barriers of membership, professional commitment, and demographics was sent to active CTRSs. Statistical analysis found that just over half of the 2003 respondents were members of either national and/or state/regional organizations. Differences existed regarding benefits of membership where members perceived more professional benefits and non-members perceived more personal benefits. Barriers were primarily financial and “cost-benefit” concerns. In addition, professional commitment was higher among members. Many recommendations exist for practice, education, and research. 

Author Biographies

Leandra A. Bedini, PhD, LRT/CTRS, FDRT, The Univerisiy of North Carolina at Greensboro

Dr. Bedini is Professor Emerita from the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation at the Univeristy of North Carolina Greensboro

Ms. Kimberly D. Miller, MS, CPRP, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Ms. Miller is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation at University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Ms. Kaitlyn N. Powalie, MS, CTRS

Ms. Powalie is a recreation therapist in behavioral health at Turning Point Hospital in Moultrie, GA

Jeff Labban, PhD, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Dr. Labban is an Associate Professor in the Office of Research of the School of Health and Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Lauren Paynter, PhD, American Heart Association

Dr. Paynter is a Senior Program Evaluation Analyst with the American Heart Association.



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