Self-care and School Psychologists: A Qualitative Study Examining Burnout Prevention and Career Satisfaction

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Advisor: Susan Davies


Job satisfaction of school psychologists is under-examined in professional literature, particularly as it relates to career burnout. The purpose of this study was to examine school psychologists' perceptions related to career burnout as well as career satisfaction. The researcher explored factors associated with school psychologist burnout, including risks, symptoms, and mitigations, through semi-structured interviews that produced qualitative data. Specifically, procedures and techniques from a grounded theory framework were used. The major findings from the perspectives of the participants were: there is too much paperwork in their jobs; much time is spent on tasks not directly benefiting students; and the types of clients (middle school, preschool, and even other teachers) can impact stress levels. Major symptoms of burnout observed in other fields, such as illness, absenteeism, and ineffective work did not surface in the present study. Results also indicated that the participants felt that training has not been useful other than on-the-job training; stress management is self-taught; and supervisory support in general is good and a positive factor. Implications for meditation as well as collegial interaction and teamwork were discussed, as they relate to beneficial stress relievers.


Education, Educational Psychology, Psychology, school psychologists, self-care, diet, exercise, burnout, stress, stressors, career, satisfaction, practitioner, clinician, interviews, risk factors, symptoms, absenteeism, illness, supervisory support, teachers

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