Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Michael D. Fallacaro


Problem: There is a shortage of military certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). The exodus from military service to civilian careers could be a result of relative deprivation (the discrepancy that one perceives between what one has and what one could or should have). Relative deprivation is a perception of unfairness dependent on feelings (subjective data) as well as facts (objective data). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to measure relative deprivation in active duty military nurse anesthetists, to explore variables which correlate with relative deprivation, and to validate or refute the theory of relative deprivation in active duty military CRNAs. The study was based on research conducted by Crosby who theorized that wanting (a desire for some object or opportunity) and deserving (a feeling of entitlement to an object or opportunity) were the most relevant preconditions leading to relative deprivation. It was hypothesized that antecedent factors (years as a CRNA, pay, promotion opportunities, and scope of practice/autonomy) and psychological factors (wanting and deserving) correlate with relative deprivation. It was further hypothesized, based on the theory, that psychological factors would have more influence on relative deprivation than antecedent factors.Study design: The descriptive, correlational study was conducted using a self-administered survey sent to 435 active duty Army, Navy and Air Force CRNAs. Surveys were distributed to subjects by mail and could be answered by mail or by secured website designed specifically for the conduct of this study.Results: Response rate was 58% (n = 236). Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Analysis of the data revealed no significant correlation (pConclusions: Further research is indicated to identify tangible factors which can be modified to improve feelings of deprivation as they relate to retention and recruitment of military CRNAs.


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