Factors that Contribute to Attrition in Texas' Public Schools
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The purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the occupational, health and demographic factors most associated with attrition within the Texas public school system. High attrition rates of teachers are detrimental and costly for schools. 2,588 teachers from 46 public school districts in Texas participated in an occupational health survey. Attrition was assessed by the intent to leave the profession for reasons not related to retirement. Individuals who indicated they were 100% likely to leave teaching profession within a year were compared to individuals that had zero intention to leave the profession. The variables analyzed for contribution towards intention to quit the teaching profession were basic teacher/classroom/school specific demographics, occupational indicators (organizational commitment, job involvement, job support, job control, climate and school problems) and health factors (stress, physical and mental quality of life and Axis I Psychopathology (Depression, Anxiety, Panic, Somatization)). A multivariate logistic regression was used to examine which variables are key predictors of attrition within the Texas public school system. The results of this study suggest a combination of various predictors, organizational commitment, job control, depression and male gender, contribute to overall intention to leave the teaching profession. Organizational commitment was negatively related to attrition, the odds ratios suggest for every one unit increase in organization commitment there is a 28.7% decreased in odds of being part of the attrition group. Job control was also negatively associated with attrition, indicating a 13.9% decrease of being part of attrition group for every unit increase of job control. Major depression, another significant indicator of attrition within this sample; teachers with major depression were 2.76 times more likely to quit. Male gender was3.6 times more likely to be part of the Attrition group when compared to women. The results suggest improving occupational factors within the school would be the best way to counter early attrition rates in teachers. Special attention should be directed towards improving the working conditions that lead to teachers wanting to quit the profession, which could ultimately reduce the high attrition rates and also attract individuals into the profession.