Perspectives on Therapeutic Recreation Research: Opening the Black Box


  • W. H. Rickards


Therapeutic Recreation Research, Conceptual Foundations


There is a potential for human service fields, including therapeutic recreation, to grow into "black boxes." Professional identity and status is too often sought without adequate attention to a given field's conceptual foundation. The potential for client services may also suffer from a lack of understanding of treatment side-effects and a lack of collaboration with other disciplines. Research contributes to perpetuation of past practices rather than development of new focuses if used primarily to justify the field or gather information for administrative purposes. While research for these purposes is important, it should be pursued as part ofa broader research program, including a concern for the conceptual structure of the field.. Possible applications of such an approach are discussed and suggestions for action presented.



Research Papers