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A Descriptive Study of Shortages in the Field of School Psychology

The school psychology workforce shortage contributes to an increased school psychologist to student ratio, which, in turn, impacts school psychologists’ abilities to work directly with students, causing low job satisfaction amongst practitioners. The shortage of school psychologists in the United States is well documented; however, the causes of the shortages are not well known. While national research has provided beneficial information regarding demographic characteristics and employment setting details, it is essential that we understand specific factors related to the workforce shortage.

This study aimed to address the reasons and factors leading to the national shortage of school psychologists. Using an online survey system, researchers surveyed 1,029 school psychologists across 44 states about the school psychology shortage and contributing factors. In addition to descriptive statistics, Pearson (r) correlation coefficients were used to assess correlations between 12 different variables. Researchers aimed to answer questions regarding the retention of school psychologists, job satisfaction and burnout, employment factors, and perceptions of school psychology graduate training. Findings indicate participants are experiencing dissatisfaction with their workloads and salaries, leading to factors associated with burnout.

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