Physical Therapists With Doctoral Degrees: Job Satisfaction And Organizational Commitment

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education


This study was designed to evaluate job satisfaction-dissatisfaction and organizational commitment of physical therapists with doctoral degrees. Attempts were made to study the entire current population of therapists licensed or registered to practice in the United States. Current estimates of this population range from 159-350 therapists. 219 therapists were identified, 164 of whom participated in the study (75.23% response rate). A self-administered biographical data form, the Job Descriptive Index (JDI), and the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) measured the variables of interest.Although the therapists are generally satisfied with and committed to their jobs, there were differences in their satisfaction responses when specific facets of their job were considered. This population is most satisfied with co-worker relationships followed by supervision and the work itself. They are least satisfied with their opportunities for promotion and pay. In addition there are differences in JDI and OCQ scores when partitioned by job setting and primary job responsibility. The influence of sex and age do not appear to help explain these differences in the partitioned JDI and OCQ scores. There is a positive relationship between annual gross earned income and pay satisfaction, job-in-general satisfaction, and organizational commitment of these therapists.Physical therapists with doctoral degrees are more likely to demonstrate low organizational commitment if (1) they are between the ages of 30-34 and 45-49, (2) they report teaching or research as their primary job responsibility, (3) they work in an academic setting, and/or (4) their annual gross earned income is below the population median interval of $35,000-$39,000. Conversely, therapists are more likely to demonstrate high organizational commitment if (1) they are between the ages of 35-44 or 50 years and older, (2) they report administration or patient care as their primary job responsibility, (3) they work in a mixed or nonacademic job setting, and/or (4) their annual gross earned income is above the population median interval.Recommendations were presented for physical therapists with doctoral degrees, administrators of programs in physical therapy education, and future researchers.


Psychology, Industrial; Education, Health

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