Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Gerry White, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Richard Lyle, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Benjamin Downs, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the perception of school social workers’ levels of satisfaction and ways it is impacted by one or more of the following factors: the level of decision making, workload management, professional development, collaboration, and advocacy. Specifically, this study sought to determine if school social workers are satisfied with their roles in the school system and daily practice. The 130 participants of the study were district presidents who reached out to all Georgia school social workers and members of the state’s School Social Workers Association (SSWAG) which is the state’s charter of the larger national organization—School Social Workers Association of America (SSWAA). All respondents participated in the study voluntarily.

The data analysis was conducted on two levels: descriptive findings and analytical procedures. The first section presented descriptive findings associated with demographic variables, the social work practice experience, and school social work settings results. The second level of the analysis tested the hypotheses under study. This section used Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient to test the strength of the relationship between the dependent variable—overall levels of satisfaction in professional practice—and each of the independent variables: perceived level of decision making, workload management, professional development, collaboration, and advocacy.

The researcher found that there was a moderately strong positive correlation between the overall levels of satisfaction with professional practice and perceived level of decision making and workload management. There was a strong positive correlation with the perceived level of professional development. The perceived level of collaboration resulted in a weak positive correlation and a moderate positive correlation was found in the perceived level of advocacy. The conclusions drawn from the findings suggest that all five independent variables showed a correlation with the dependent variable. These study findings may be useful not only for school social workers but also for support staff (school psychologist, counselors, etc.) and school administrators.

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