Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair


Committee Member

Rosie Davis

Committee Member

Amber Hewitt

Committee Member

Chrisann Schiro-Geist


APA has long emphasized the importance of psychologists involvement in federal policy work and in recent years the number of psychologists choosing to make careers in this field has increased. Despite the growth of policy work as a vocation for psychologists, there is little empirical research looking into the experiences of psychologists who enter this career. Eight license eligible psychologists were interviewed about their experiences working on policy within the federal government and interview data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. The core category that emerged from this study was, Psychologists are well-suited to work in federal policy development; however, there are ways to better facilitate their entry to this career. Main themes under this core category included challenges in transitioning from academia to policy; ways in which communication and research skills are transferable to policy; ways the field of psychology could be more involved in policy at different levels; and ways graduate training programs could better prepare and facilitate careers in this field for psychologists. The study highlights the importance of training psychologists to be knowledgeable about the many opportunities to be involved in policy; suggestions for enhancing a focus on policy work in graduate training are provided.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest