Term of Award

Winter 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Public Health Leadership (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Policy and Community Health

Committee Chair

Bettye Apenteng

Committee Member 1

Kwabena Boakye

Committee Member 2

Samuel Opoku


This study examined the relationship among public health programmatic competencies, work engagement, and turnover intentions among state and local public health workers. It also explored the moderating role of generational cohorts in these relationships. It employed a quantitative secondary data analysis using the 2021 PHWINS survey, a collaboration between the de Beaumont Foundation and The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. The study's principal findings shed light on critical relationships within the public health workforce: Firstly, an increase in programmatic expertise among public health professionals is linked to increased work engagement, particularly notable within the Millennial cohort. Secondly, a noteworthy inverse correlation is observed between programmatic expertise and turnover. This connection is partially mediated by work engagement. Lastly, the study finds that work engagement significantly reduces turnover, with a more pronounced effect observed among the Generation X cohort. These findings emphasize the intricate interplay between programmatic expertise, work engagement, and turnover within different generational cohorts in the public health sector. The study’s findings have significant implications for crafting and implementing retention strategies that leverage the unique preferences of each generation.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Friday, November 15, 2024