Factors influencing Texas physical therapy students' membership in the American physical therapy association and the Texas physical therapy association: Implications for academicians, clinicians, and professional associations

Lynne Hughes, Ashley Book, Harriet Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: To determine the factors impacting the decisions of student physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to join and maintain membership in the American Physical Therapy Association and the Texas Physical Therapy Association, in light of a membership initiative of Reach 100 that was adopted in Texas. STUDY DESIGN: Survey, descriptive. METHODS: An online membership survey invitation was distributed to Texas PT and PTA students. RESULTS: A total of 479 students responded to the survey. A majority of participants (67%) reported being members, while 33% reported being non-members. The primary reason students (74%) reported for being a member was that they were encouraged by their academic program. Students who are not members (87%) cited the high cost of national dues. A majority of participants (n=379, 83%) rated faculty promotion of membership as somewhat high to high. In contrast, only 26% rated the promotion of membership by their clinical education sites as somewhat high to high. Professional growth and development was cited as the main reason to maintain membership. CONCLUSIONS: Although students are being encouraged to join, a third of the respondents still do not belong. It is imperative that clinical mentors model and support membership activities. Association leadership may use this information to develop strategic plans to be inclusive of the student and new professional.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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