Date of Award

Spring 3-17-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Dr. Laurie Wellner, Ed.D


Purpose: The purpose of this relational study was to identify and compare the factors related to job satisfaction and job retention as perceived by behavior therapists working with children diagnosed with autism. A second purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between the level of burnout related to job retention, and the intrinsic and extrinsic level of motivation related to job satisfaction as perceived by Behavior Therapists working with students with autism. A further purpose of the study is to describe the improvements in the work place that behavior therapists working with students with autism identified as necessary to increase their job satisfaction and job retention.

Methodology: The survey used in this study was composed of four components. All participants completed (a) a demographic questionnaire, (b) the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) which was purchased, and (c) a 24-item survey developed by the researcher to identify intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence job satisfaction, and (d) improvements that ABA Therapists perceived could improve their workplace job satisfaction and retention. The demographic information that was collected from the participants included the following information: age, gender, nationality and how many months they have been at their current company.

Findings: From the survey, 7 factors emerged as factors that affect job retention and job satisfaction at the BT level: Pay, Schedule, Support, Training, Benefits, Life Balance, and v

Job Responsibilities. Training and Benefits were two common factors that were found throughout all four research questions. Pay, Schedule, Support, were found in research questions 1,2 and 4. Life Balance and Job Responsibilities were factors found in research questions 1,2 and 3. Demographic data that was also collected in the surveys was analyzed, and resulted in 74.23% of participants were female and 25.77% of participants were male. 54% of the participants have been employed with their current company for less than 12 months.