Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies

First Advisor

Erik Drasgow


For more than three decades research has shown Administrative Support as a mitigating factor for teacher attrition. It has also been associated with teacher satisfaction and positive school climate. In all of these studies authors have failed to agree on consistent definition of the phenomena and attrition rates along with satisfaction rates have been relatively unchanged. In 1981, House established four dimensions of worker support (1981) to mitigate worker burnout and attrition. His theoretical framework consisted of emotional support, appraisal support, instrumental support, and informational support in a factory work setting. Littrell et al. (1994) used House’s work to attempt to organize specific behaviors of administrative support for teachers by taking these same four dimension and using them in the educational setting.

The purpose of my study is to gain teacher perspectives using a valid and reliable survey along with rigorous methodological strategies to better define administrative support. My study answers the following four questions: 1) Do SC teachers identify the same four dimensions of Administrative Support as those in House’s theoretical framework? 2) How do teachers rate the importance of administrative support factors? Are there differences in importance ratings between teachers in different groups? 3) How frequently do teachers receive administrative support? Are there differences in frequency ratings between teachers in different groups? 4) Are there differences in the importance ratings of teachers and the frequency ratings? How often are teachers receiving the most important supports?

Results from my study found that House’s theoretical framework of four dimension continue to be relevant, but can be combined into two new clearer support factors. These factors consist of Value-related behaviors and Logistical-related behaviors. I also found that all support behaviors are not of equal importance to teachers in SC. I was able to order these behaviors into a list from most important to the least important. The most important support behavior for SC teachers was “showing confidence in my teaching” and the least important behavior of the ones in the survey was “assisting with lesson development.” I also found that frequency ratings mirrored importance ratings and that the most and least important behaviors were also the most and least frequent behaviors. My results indicate that although there are a few significant differences in importance and frequency ratings by different demographic groups, generally there are more differences within groups than between them. Whereas importance and frequency ratings were similar, my study did find a medium size gap between importance and frequency ratings with teachers reporting higher importance than frequency. Taking all of this into consideration, SC teachers that participated in the study had a 75% satisfaction rate for their building-level administrators’ support.