Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Marge Maxwell (Director), Dr. Nedra Atwell, Dr. Janet Applin

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teacher perceptions of elementary school principal leadership style and teacher job satisfaction. The study also investigated differences in teachers’ perceptions of elementary school principal leadership style and teacher job satisfaction based on teachers’ demographics (i.e., age, grade level taught, education level, teaching experience). Additionally, an examination of the significant factors that contribute to teacher job satisfaction as identified by the elementary teachers was explored.

This correlational study with a quantitative, non-experimental design utilized two surveys to measure elementary teacher perceptions of principal leadership style (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire [MLQ]) and teacher job satisfaction (Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire [MSQ]). Demographic information from each teacher was also collected. Participants included 179 certified elementary teachers (kindergarten through grade 5) from six different rural elementary schools in six different school districts across south central Kentucky.

Results from the Pearson Correlation indicated that all five transformational leadership style dimensions and one transactional leadership dimension derived from the MLQ were statistically significant at the .0001 level and showed positive, moderate correlations with teacher job satisfaction. Results from ANOVA testing indicated significant differences existed between teacher age and education level groups with regard to teacher perceptions of elementary school principal leadership style. Results revealed that younger teachers (ages 21-30) tended to rate their principal higher in the two transactional leadership components of contingent reward and management-byexception (active). Older teachers (ages 31-40, ages 41 and above), however, rated their principal lower in these same dimensions. Furthermore, the study’s results reported significant differences between grade level taught groups (kindergarten-grade 5 and special area teachers) with respect to teacher job satisfaction. Results demonstrated that special area teachers (i.e., art, music, library, computers, special education, etc.) rated their intrinsic job satisfaction level significantly higher than kindergarten through grade 5 teachers. Stepwise multiple regression analyses also showed that teachers identified significant factors that contributed to teacher job satisfaction. Intrinsic motivators included areas related to creativity, social service, and independence, while extrinsic motivators included the areas of supervision and compensation. General job satisfaction factors identified included the areas of responsibility and recognition.


Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Elementary Education and Teaching