Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Agars, Mark


The primary objective of this study is to foster career outcomes such as job satisfaction and turnover intentions in early childhood educators (ECEs). ECEs are defined as individuals teaching children from the age range of birth to 5 years old and work in child care programs. The focus on ECEs population was due to the fact they work in demanding environments with little wage incentives, and as a result, they experience high levels of job dissatisfaction, which in turn leads to turnover. Research has demonstrated that most ECEs are intrinsically motivated, but previous research has not quantitatively tested this construct in a model. A third objective is to explore the role of person-organization fit (P-O fit) and person-job fit (P-J fit) as mediators. Prior research has examined fit a mediator for the K-12 teacher population but it has not been explored in ECEs. The last objective of this study is to investigate distributive justice on career outcomes through P-O fit and P-J fit. Data for the study were collected from a community-based sample. The participants were teachers that worked in the field of early childhood education. Our findings show educators’ motivation and perceptions of organizational justice have a considerable impact on their career outcomes. Our results provide support for the mediation model that we hypothesized. This study can also assist in the selection of early childhood educators by utilizing the intrinsic motivation to work with children to identify which educators are intrinsically motivated and assess their fit as it relates to a specific organization.