Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Adult Education

Committee Chair

Katrina Meyer

Committee Member

Patricia Murrell

Committee Member

Jeff Wilson


This study examines the critical thinking skills of allied health students(AHS) at a southeastern university. A survey methodology was utilizted to investigate the critical thinking skills of AHS in cytotechnology, dental hygiene, health informatics and information management, and medical technology disciplines. The Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) was the survey instrument used to measure students' critical thinking skill level. The survey was administered to 57 graduating seniors in the College of Allied Health Sciences class of 2011. Five research questions guided the study: 1. What is the critical thinking skill level of allied health students at a southeastern university (strong, moderate, or weak)? 2. Are there differences in critical thinking skills based onprogramof allied health students?3. Are there differences in critical thinking skills based on gender of allied health students?4. Are there differences in critical thinking skills between programs taught at different academic levels (baccalaureate, entry-level masters, and masters)? 5. What is the impact of academic level, age, gender, grade point average and program on critical thinking skills of allied health students?Results indicated that 64.9% of the participants in the study had weak critical thinking skills, 31.6% of the participants had moderate critical thinking skills and 3.5% of the participants had strong critical thinking skills. Additionally, an independent t-test indicated that male participants scored higher on the HSRT than females. ANOVAanalysis indicated differences in critical thinking based on academic level. Bachelor participants' critical thinking skills were lower than master's and entry-level master's participants. Surprisingly, entry-level master's students scored higher than master's level students. Finally, multiple regression results indicated that 31.7% of the variance in total critical thinking skills can be explained by gender, age, program, GPA, and academic level. One important contribution of this research is that it adds to the body of literature surrounding critical thinking skills of allied health students. This study is also the first study to investigate multiple allied health disciplines at a single time. The study provides new information to deans, administrators, and educators that may be useful when evaluating critical thinking skills of allied health students.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.