Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Richard Dembo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Belenko, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael J. Lynch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ojmarrh Mitchell, Ph.D.


Community corrections, Job attitudes, Organizational climate theory, Workplace factors


Satisfied employees are essential to an organization, as they are the primary means for meeting organizational needs. Employees who are more satisfied at work are less likely to leave their job or think about leaving their job, less likely to feel burnt out or stressed, and perform better at work. Job satisfaction is particularly important among criminal justice agencies, specifically probation agencies which largely rely on personnel for the supervision and rehabilitation of offenders. Yet the correlates of job satisfaction among juvenile probation staff are largely unknown. Theory suggests that organizational characteristics are influential predictors of job satisfaction across occupational domains. This current body of research is limited due to its predominant focus on institutional corrections, a deficiency in assessing a diverse variety of climate domains and their influence on job satisfaction, and a lack of standard factor analytic techniques.

Accordingly, the goal of this study is to address these gaps within the current body of research and examine the correlates of job satisfaction among juvenile probation staff. First, the psychometrics properties of six perceived organizational climate domains (i.e., innovation and flexibility, communication, agency quality, supervisory support, job–related stress, and organizational support) and job satisfaction are evaluated. Second, salient personal and organizational characteristics which influence job satisfaction are identified. Specifically, the model evaluates both direct and indirect effects of perceived organizational climate characteristics on job satisfaction, as mediated through perceptions of job-related stress. Third, the study assesses whether job satisfaction varies across agencies.

Towards this goal, the study uses baseline data from the Juvenile Justice – Translational Research on Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS) initiative, a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded research project conducted in seven states with 36 participating juvenile probation agencies. Data are especially useful in the identification of job satisfaction correlates because they provide information on personal and organizational factors for a large sample of juvenile probation staff. This study used a number of analytic techniques including bivariate analyses, factor analysis, structural equation modeling, path analysis, and multivariate analyses.

Findings from the current study expand our understanding of the influence of personal and organizational factors on job satisfaction to an understudied population. Overall, juvenile probation staff reported moderate levels of job satisfaction. Furthermore, results highlight the importance of work-place factors and suggest efforts towards increasing job satisfaction and staff retention should focus on the improvement of organizational characteristics.