The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of male occupational therapists so that better strategies for recruiting men into the profession can be developed and the problem of retaining men in the field can be addressed. Male occupational therapists were surveyed at 3-year intervals, in 1978, 1982, and 1985. Our survey results were compared with results of the 1969 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Member Data Survey reported by Jantzen (1973), the 1982 AOTA Member Data Survey, and an unpublished study by Watson (1983).
The number of professional occupational therapists almost tripled from 1970 to 1985, whereas the increase in the proportion of men was only from 3.9% to 5%. The study showed that as a group, male occupational therapists today are younger, more likely to have advanced degrees, and less likely to be married than their 1969 counterparts. Additional data included employment data, educational data, and demographic information such as family position, education and occupation of parents, extracurricular activities in high school and college, factors influencing career choice, and goals for the future.