This study examined two areas: the composition of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) membership, and the training that individual members receive to benefit their professional practice. A comprehensive survey of 40 questions was sent to all AHTA members with email addresses. Forty-percent or 249 members responded to the survey.
Demographic data indicated survey participants were most frequently white females between the ages of 46- 55 living within Eastern United States with a BA/BS in other specialized area, with 1-5 years experience as a therapist in a senior care center. She has received "a little" to "some" training mostly from workshops and is practicing "a little" to "some" in the role of a Horticultural Therapist.
Analysis of survey responses found a moderate positive relationship between training and practice (R = .719). The only two areas that indicate any significant differences between training and practice were in foundations and professional organization. That is, training in foundations was not being used in practice, and training in professional organization was inadequate for what is needed in practice.
Survey results also found two significant patterns of differences. First, there was significant difference between training and practice for those AHTA members who were registered compared to non-registered. Specifically, AHTA members who are registered had a higher overall mean level of training and practice when compared to AHTA members who are non-registered.
Second, there was significant difference between training and practice for those AHTA members who had 11 or more years of experience. Specifically, AHTA members who are had more years of experience had a higher overall mean level of training and practice when compared to AHTA members who had fewer years of experience.
The findings from this study will help to prepare for future HT training and employment needs. This study is a step towards the development of a competency-based evaluation of entry-level HT practitioners, part of the ongoing effort to protect the public interest and advance the field of HT.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. March 2009. Major: Education, Rec/Park/Leisure Studies. Advisors: Professors Mary Meyer and Michael Wade. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 136 pages, appendices A-H.
Larson, Jean Marie.
Exploratory research of training and practice in horticultural therapy..
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