An analysis of factors that determine the level of job/life satisfaction for principals in the department of defense dependent schools


The purpose of this study was to determine the level of job and life satisfaction for principals in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDs). Using Porter's model as the theoretical basis for understanding the job satisfaction of principals and.the Spillover Model attributed to Wilensky to describe the life satisfaction of principals, a research study was undertaken to gather data to investigate the proposition that for this population of principals the correlation would be significant and larger than that for the general public. Questionnaires were sent to all principals in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools system in the Spring, 1993 (N=196). The survey contained 104 questions related to job and life satisfaction and 10 demographic questions. some questions were of an open ended-variety that allowed principals to explain their thoughts about this topic. Results from the data analysis revealed that principals were satisfied in their jobs (73%) and lives (85%) in the DoDDs system. Factors associated with job satisfaction were: (a) relationships with students, (b) relationships with colleagues, (c) salary, and (d) standard of living. Factors categorized as dissatisfying were: (a) amount of time devoted to noneducational duties, (b) number of hours worked, (c) extra tasks associated with being a principal, (d) amount of work required, and (e) regional and district decision-making process. Terms associated with high life satisfaction were worthwhile, interesting, full, rewarding, hopeful and enjoyable; overworked, pressured and hard were terms associated with dissatisfaction. Results were compared with similar studies of principals completed by Godfrey, Friesen, Holdaway and Rice and Callarman as to the satisfaction of principals with such factors as grade configuration, gender, student enrollment and latest performance rating. In only minor components were any of these factors significantly related to job satisfaction. In summary, the correlation. between job and life satisfaction was found to be larger for DoDDS principals (r=.476, p<.01) than that of the general population (r=.31, p<.01). In conclusion, DoDDS principals were moderately satisfied in their work and life. It was recommended that they be required to perform less non-educationally related duties, and given more autonomy at the local level.


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Graduation Date





Bozeman, William C.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services

Degree Program

Educational Leadership




182 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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