Job satisfaction among school psychologists

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Concerns over job satisfaction among school psychologists have become prominent in the literature. Reviews of research, however, reveal that few empirical studies of job satisfaction among school psychologists have been conducted. This study was designed to describe job satisfaction among members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) employed by public school systems across the nation. Specific research questions addressed the levels of job satisfaction in the sample, relative satisfaction with various components of overall job satisfaction, and relationships between selected demographic variables and overall job satisfaction. A total of 450 members of NASP were selected to participate in the study and were mailed survey materials including the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire. A response rate of 86.89% was attained. Results of the study indicated that most school psychologists are satisfied with their current jobs (85.71%). Participants were relatively dissatisfied with their chances for advancement and school system policies and practices. Multiple regression analysis revealed that age and psychologist to student ratios were significant predictors of overall job satisfaction scores (p 0.05). Further analysis revealed a positive relationship between age and overall job satisfaction and a negative relationship between psychologist to student ratio and overall job satisfaction. It was concluded that most school psychologists in NASP are satisfied with most aspects of their jobs. Two notable exceptions were chances for advancement and school system policies and practices. Part of this dissatisfaction is seen as a product of school psychologists' failure to establish a career ladder in the school system. It was also concluded that school psychologists, individually and as a group, should continue to advocate for lower psychologist to student ratios.