Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Jianping Shen


This study examines the correlates of teachers' job satisfaction. Based on the literature, it proposes that teacher satisfaction is a function of, among others, the following school process variables: (a) school influence, (b) classroom control, (c) student behavior, (d) parental support, (e) staff collegiality, (f) career/working conditions, (g) administrative communication, and (h) administrative support. The research first decomposed the amount of variance attributable to the teacher level and the school level. Since there was a significant amount of variance at the school level, the next step was to determine if and how the above school process variables were associated with teachers' job satisfaction. Although teacher job satisfaction has been researched using small samples, few studies used hierarchical linear modeling to analyze data from a large, nationally representative sample. This study was based on the data from the 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The study included data from 40,770 teachers and 7,670 principals.

To explore the relationships, this study built four nested models: (a) the unconditional model; (b) the control model; (c) the principal's education and experiences model; and (d) the school process model. Each model used hierarchical linear modeling to account for commonalities that teachers had within schools and was compared to the unconditional model. The school process model, building on earlier models, controlled for school demographics, teacher demographics and preparation, and principal's education and work experiences.

The results indicated that there was a significant amount of variance attributable to the school level. Although several of the demographic variables had statistically significant association with teachers' overall job satisfaction, their sizes of association were much smaller than those for the school processes variables. Six of the eight school process variables—school influence, classroom control, student behavior, administrative support, staff collegiality, and career and working conditions—had statistically significant positive associations with teachers' overall job satisfaction. The school process model explained 99.7% of the between-school variance of the unconditional model. The findings indicated the importance of the school process for teachers' job satisfaction. Policy implications of the study were discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access