Job dissatisfaction among therapeutic recreation specialists
The purpose of this study was to analyze identified factors causing job dissatisfaction among therapeutic recreation specialists. The study further attempted to determine whether selected demographic variables influenced the rankings of dissatisfaction factors.
Therapeutic recreation specialists from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana, male (n = 31) and female (n = 171), completed a mailed survey. The first section of the survey requested demographic information from the subject, and asked specific questions about his or her intentions to stay in or leave the profession. The second section was a paired comparison instrument which forced each subject to identify the greatest causes of dissatisfaction by choosing between all possible pairings from a list of 9 factors.
The study indicated that therapeutic recreation specialists experience job dissatisfaction from factors in the following ranked order: interpersonal relationships with administrators and supervisors, company policies and administration, working conditions on the job, salary, technical supervision, job security, benefits, interpersonal relationships with peers, and interpersonal relationships with subordinates. The only significant differences found using chi-square analyses were males' higher than expected ranking of job security and persons in the late career stage's lower than expected ranking of job security.
The conclusion drawn from this study is that therapeutic recreation specialists in the Southwest experience job dissatisfaction primarily due to a perceived lack of respect and credibility as professionals. This perceptions is one that should be addressed by university training programs, professional organizations, and program administrators in order to maintain a stable and productive workforce. Several recommendations were given for continued research in the areas of job dissatisfaction, the concept of professional credibility, and the development of key skills for therapeutic recreation professionals.