Data-Based Research in Therapeutic Recreation: State of the Art

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stuart J. Schleien, Professor & Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: During difficult financial times, it is critical not only to evaluate therapeutic recreation programs and document client progress but also to disseminate objective program data to therapeutic recreation and other practitioners. The purpose of this state-of-the-art research inquiry was to provide the therapeutic recreation discipline and other related helping professions with an accurate and current assessment of empirically based research concerning the provision of recreation for special populations. Eight professional journals in recreation, special education, and psychology from 1977 (the year of PL 94-142) through the current literature were reviewed. Articles using a data-based research methodology in the area of recreation/leisure for special populations were identified. Articles were analyzed according to target population, subject age, purpose of study, and research design. Of the 83 data-based research reports found, 40 studies addressed the mentally retarded population, 26 involved children (birth to 13 years), and the case study (23) and survey (23) research designs were most prevalent. A plea for future data-based research by therapeutic recreation professionals to improve services is made.

Additional Information

Therapeutic Recreation Journal
Language: English
Date: 1983
Research, Evaluation, Data-based, Empirical Investigations, Methodology

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