Job Satisfaction and Stress of County Extension Agents in Texas and the Relationships between Work Engagement, Work-life Balance, and Occupational Commitment of Early and Mid-career Professionals
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The purpose of this study is to identify and determine factors related to career retention and to explore the relationships between work engagement, work-life balance and occupational commitment of early and mid-career county Extension agents in Texas. The population for this study is county Extension agents in Texas with 10 years or less experience. The target population for this study was agents who are in the initial 10 years of their careers with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. This study included a census of all county Extension Agents with zero to 10 years of service (N=268), response rate of 90.85%. The survey instrument was constructed from portions of four studies to measure the variables of interest. The study included a self-reported level of stress and a self-reported level of job satisfaction, using a Likert-type scale. The combined instrument evaluated work engagement, occupational commitment, work family balance, stress, and job satisfaction. Independent samples t-tests proved no significant differences in stress or job satisfaction based on educational background. Agents who had previously experienced student teaching had a slightly higher level of job satisfaction. The results revealed relationships of noteworthy magnitude between stress and occupational commitment; stress and perceptions of work family balance; and stress and work interfering with family. Lastly, relationships with magnitude of interest between job satisfaction and occupational commitment; job satisfaction and vigor; job satisfaction and dedication; and job satisfaction and absorption, were observed.