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