Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Rider

Second Advisor

Dr. Claire Callan

Third Advisor

Dr. Dean Tyndall

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study compared professional values and goals of three levels of occupational therapy students: (1) seniors in baccalaureate programs (n = 337), (2) students in professional master's programs (n = 95), and (3) students in post-professional master's programs (n = 62). Demographic characteristics and factors influencing career choice were also examined.

Significant differences were found among the three student groups for three professional goals: (1) contributing to theory, (2) doing research, and (3) educating occupational therapy students, and four professional values: (1) intellectual stimulation, (2) exciting life, (3) comfortable life, and (4) helpfulness. The demographic differences among the three student groups that were most pronounced were parents' educational background, continuing education, and elementary and secondary school achievement.

Implications for career counseling, recruitment, increased manpower, decreased shortage of occupational therapists, decreased attrition, and future curriculum planning were generated from the results.