Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Daniels

Committee Co-Chair

Danielle Adamsky

Committee Member

Reagan Curtis

Committee Member

Monica Leppma

Committee Member

George Mamboleo


The role of psychologists working in state psychiatric hospitals has been ambiguous throughout most of the last century. State psychiatric hospitals continue to provide care to patients with severe mental illness, and psychologists remain employed in such settings. Eight factors related to work engagement for psychologists in state psychiatric hospitals were explored, including geographic region, length of time in the field, length of time at the hospital, number of clients seen per week, number of supervision hours per month, job ambiguity, autonomy, and perceived social support. Results found that psychologists are engaged in their work in state hospitals, and three of the assessed factors, job ambiguity, autonomy, and perceived social support, were found to be significant predictors of work engagement. The identification of these three factors as predictors of work engagement in state hospitals highlights the need for hospital administrators to clearly define job roles, and for psychologists to ensure that they feel certain about their job role. Job ambiguity was found to offer the strongest negative prediction of work engagement. Further, the need for opportunity to socially interact with colleagues within the hospital is critical, and should be reinforced by hospital administration and encouraged by graduate training programs. A moderate level of autonomy was found to be the most predictive of work engagement, and offers new insights on how managers can approach the supervision of psychologists.