Citekey: @dia05education

Dia D, Smith CA, Cohen-Callow A and Bliss DL (2005). “The Education Participation Scale-Modified: Evaluating a Measure of Continuing Education.” Research on Social Work Practice, 15(3), pp. 213-222. <URL:>,, <URL:>.


This article evaluates the Educational Participation Scale–Modified (EPS-M) developed by O’Connor (1979, 1982) in the context of social work.

It has a nice literature review of subversions of EPS.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the measurement model and theory underlying the Educational Participation Scale–Modified (EPS-M) using confirmatory factor analysis. A probability sample of 225 licensed social workers in Maryland completed the mailed survey. The findings support a six independent factor model. Results also support the EPS-M as a valid and reliable measure for identifying motivational orientations of social workers who pursue continuing professional education. Professional knowledge was the most frequently reported motivational orientation. Implications regarding social workers’ motivational orientations and the design of continuing professional education activities are discussed. (p. 2)

There have been multiple versions of the EPS: 1. The original version was published in 1971 by Boshier with 48 items and a 9-point scale. 2. In 1976, a modified version of the EPS was developed, which had 40 items and a 4-point scale (Boshier, 1976). 3. O’Connor (1979, 1982) modified the original EPS scale by adding a 0 end point denoting no change, creating a 10-point scale. O’Connor also added 8 additional questions to bring the total number to 56 questions. 4. Boshier (1991) developed a new scale (Form A) with 42 items. The EPS-Form A was correlated with the original EPS scale (Boshier, 1991). 5. Garst and Ried (1999) used the original EPS scale and created another modified version EPS with 43 items and a 5-point scale citing Mergener’s doctoral dissertation. (p. 3)

The EPS-M (O’Connor, 1979) scoring criteria were selected for several reasons, which were primarily empirically based. The subscales’ internal consistency reliabilities were better, and there were no alpha if item deleted problems in this sample compared with alternative scoring methods (Boshier & Collins, 1983). Additionally, the scale has been used with a professional population participating in continuing professional education, which is similar to the population and educational activities in this study (O’Connor, 1979, 1982; Thomas, 1986). A more recent study by Garst and Ried (1999) also chose a modified version of the original EPS over the EPS-Form A. (p. 3)

O’Connor, A. B. (1979). Reasons nurses participate in continuing education. Nursing Research, 28, 354-359.

O’Connor, A. B. (1982). Reasons nurses participate in self-study con- tinuing education programs. Nursing Research, 31, 371-374.

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