Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rose, Amy D.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Continuing education--Study and teaching


This study sought to identify the factors that deterred workplace learning and performance practitioners from participating in continuing professional education (CPE) provided by their professional associations. This study employed a modified version of the Deterrents to Participation Scale (DPS) developed by Craig Scanlan and Gordon Darkenwald in their study of participation deterrents for allied health professionals. The present study asked three basic questions: (1) what differences, if any, exist between participating and nonparticipating workplace learning and performance practitioners and their responses to DPS deterrent factors; (2) what are the individual deterrents that hinder workplace learning and performance practitioners from participating in CPE learning events using the DPS composite factors; and (3) what sociodemographic characteristics are associated with individual deterrent factors with participating and nonparticipating workplace learning and performance practitioners. The DPS was administered as an online survey to 1,216 professional association members in the Chicago area with valid email addresses. The response rate was 29% with 347 usable responses. Factor analysis, using principal component analysis and the rotation method of equamax with Kaiser normalization, was used to determine the number of factors that could be derived from the deterrent variables. The eleven factors identified were Quality Issues, Personal Expense, Family Constraint, Time Constraint, Personal Constraint, Schedule and Location Constraint, Learning Preference, Professional Association Experience, Personal Energy, Lack of Motivation, and Professional Commitment Issue. The findings supported previous research on external barriers to participation, except for cost issues, which were found to be not important. In the separate analysis of participant and nonparticipant responses, new deterrent factors were found for each in addition to the nine factors that carried over from the initial set. Participant and nonparticipant factors accounted for 67.883% and 65.618% respectively of the total variance. Applying Houle's learner typology, learning- and activity-oriented types coincided with participants, whereas the nonparticipants were goal-oriented learners. The difference in factors between participants and nonparticipants also indicated a divergence in the practitioners' values and perceptions of professionalism. These findings add to the theory building in the area of participation of adult learners in continuing professional education who engage in informal learning activities.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [118]-124).


xiii, 207 pages




Northern Illinois University

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