Job satisfaction among Virginia school psychologists: a ten year follow-up and comparison to a national sample

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This study was designed to gather information in regard to job satisfaction, up-date demographic information, and to measure the difference between actual and desired amounts of time spent in different role activities by Virginia school psychologists. The results were compared to Levinson's 1983 study of Virginia school psychologists and to the results of a national study (Brown, 1992).

Data were collected through mailed surveys consisting of a demographic data form and a modified version of the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire. A total of 351 randomly selected subjects were mailed survey materials, and 83.97% responded. The data analysis utilized the responses from 197 school psychologists employed full-time in the public schools.

The current sample of Virginia school psychologists indicated that 81.2% are either satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, while 18.8% reported that they are dissatisfied with their job. Virginia school psychologists are satisfied as shown by 17 of the 20 scales measured by the modified Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire. The three areas of job dissatisfaction were advancement opportunities, school system policies and practices, and compensation. The results of regression analysis revealed three factors as predictors of job satisfaction: control over the types of activities performed, decision to remain in the position for the next five years, and the desire to spend more time in research activities. Virginia school psychologists report spending more time in assessment activities and less time in counseling, consultation, and research than they desire.

The level of overall job satisfaction for the current sample compared to their 1983 counterparts and to a 1992 national sample is virtually identical. Although some variations exist, the top seven and last seven factors are the same for all three studies. There are no differences in levels of satisfaction between the current sample and those in the 1983 study. Virginia school psychologists are, however, less satisfied than their national counterparts in the following eleven areas: ability utilization, advancement, authority, policies and practices, compensation, creativity, independence, recognition, responsibility, supervision-relations, and variety.

Implications drawn from this study were discussed. Recommendations were made for school psychologists, university trainers, employers, and professional organi