Title page for ETD etd-11142005-155954

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Elitharp, Toni
Author's Email Address telithar@vt.edu
URN etd-11142005-155954
Title The Relationship of Occupational Stress, Psychological Strain, Satisfaction with Job, Commitment to the Profession, Age, and Resilience to the Turnover Intentions of Special Education Teachers
Degree PhD
Department Administration and Supervision of Special Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Salmon, Richard G. Committee Chair
Anderson, Alice Committee Member
Aylesworth, Martin Committee Member
Martin, Rosalie Marie Committee Member
  • Retention
  • Attrition
  • Disabilities
  • Strain
  • Stress
  • Resilience
  • Coping
  • Special Education
Date of Defense 2005-11-08
Availability unrestricted

Elitharp Abstract

This paper presents findings from a study of factors that lead to special education teacher attrition and retention involving 212 special educators in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Structural equation modeling was used to test a hypothesized model of the relationship between Teacher/Administrative Support, Role Dissonance, Psychological Strain, Satisfaction with Job, Commitment to the Profession, Age, and Psychological Resilience to determine which variables directly and indirectly affect the turnover intentions of special education teachers. Structural equation modeling identified a path model wherein nine variables had a statistically significant influence on special education teacher turnover intentions. This paper reports on significant findings that emphasize for the first time the role of psychological resilience in the study of special education teacher retention. In addition, the confirmed path model suggests that one's perception of the effects of adversity due to physical or sexual abuse and adversity due to family loss play some role related to resilience. As the perception of Psychological Resilience increases, Commitment to the Profession increases, and the Intent to Leave the field of special education decreases.

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