Career satisfaction of physical therapy faculty during their pretenure years

Anne L. Harrison, Deborah G. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. The purpose of this study was to compile information about and define variables that are influential in the career satisfaction of tenure-track, full-time physical therapy faculty who have been employed in academia for 5 years or less but who do not yet have tenure. Subjects and Methods. An investigator-developed instrument was used to collect the data. The self-report instrument contained 80 items in four categories: demographics, social supports, teaching, and scholarly activity. Questionnaires were sent to junior physical therapy faculty at the 127 physical therapist schools in the United States and Puerto Rico listed by the American Physical Therapy Association in 1993. There were 163 responses to the survey, representing an estimated 85% of the population of junior faculty as defined by this survey. Results. Eighty-three percent of junior faculty surveyed were satisfied with having taken an academic position, despite feelings of loneliness, tenure anxiety, heavy work loads, and the desire for more guidance from colleagues. Conclusion and Discussion. Social and collegial supports such as relationships with senior faculty and experienced colleagues are key elements influencing faculty satisfaction. Information is given that could be utilized by directors and faculty who are planning to guide the professional development of new faculty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1202-1220
Number of pages19
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • Education: physical therapist, general
  • Faculty
  • Faculty retention
  • Physical therapy profession, professional issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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