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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012 Mar;42(2):151-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.10.008. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

The relationship between perceptions of organizational functioning and voluntary counselor turnover: a four-wave longitudinal study.

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Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Using data from a nationwide study, we annually track a cohort of 598 substance use disorder counselors over a four-wave period to (a) document the cumulative rates of voluntary turnover and (b) examine how counselor perceptions of the organizational environment (procedural justice, distributive justice, perceived organizational support, and job satisfaction) and clinical supervisor leadership effectiveness (relationship quality, in-role performance, extra-role performance) predict voluntary turnover over time. Survey data were collected from counselors in Year 1, and actual turnover data were collected from organizational records in Years 2, 3, and 4. Findings reveal that 25% of the original counselors turned over by Year 2, 39% by Year 3, and 47% by Year 4. Counselors with more favorable perceptions of the organizational environment are between 13.8% and 22.8% less likely to turn over than those with less favorable perceptions. None of the leadership effectiveness variables are significant.

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