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An Examination of Multicultural Competencies of Entry Level Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists

Debra K. Blair, Catherine Coyle


This study examined the multicultural (MC) competencies of entry level Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRSs) to determine if differences in MC competency existed based upon identified demographic variables. The study also examined how CTRSs compare to other helping disciplines in terms of MC competencies. Information was obtained from 156 randomly selected entry-level CTRSs who had been certified within the past three years. Respondents were predominantly Caucasian (79.5%), female (83%), and between the ages of 20-29 years. The research design was cross-sectional survey research and involved 500 randomly selected entry-level CTRSs. The instruments used to collect the data included: the Multicultural Counseling Inventory (MCI) (Sodowsky, Taffe, Gutkin, & Wise, 1994), the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale—Form B (Reynolds, 1982), and demographic variables. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Statistical procedures included frequency distribution, analysis of co-variance and Mest. Results indicated that entry-level CTRSs believe they have a reasonable level of overall multicultural competency, with strongest aptitudes being reported in the sub-areas related to the counseling relationship and MC skills and the weakest perceived competency in the area of MC awareness. Statistically significant differences in the MC competencies of entry-level CTRSs were found for age, gender, ethnicity, number of workshops taken that dealt with cultural diversity, whether there were courses taken where information about cultural diversity was infused, and minority caseload when social desirability was controlled.


Cultural Diversity, Multicultural Competency, Entry-Level CTRS, Therapeutic Recreation

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