Date of Conferral







Barbara Chappell


Substance abuse is a persistent social problem contributing to family disruption; domestic abuse; school failure; and financial costs relating to criminal prosecution, incarceration, treatment, and lost productivity and wages. Substance abuse is amenable to treatment, including psychotherapy. A client-therapist relationship is broken if the therapist leaves the organization; therefore, employee retention is especially important in treatment centers. Employee retention has been studied, but how it is affected by supervisees' perceptions of their managers' emotional intelligence has been a neglected area. The purpose of this nonexperimental, correlational study was to determine the relationship between employee turnover intention and perceived emotional intelligence of leaders in a substance abuse treatment center. The study was based on the theory of emotional intelligence and on an overarching research question that addressed the relationship between the perceived emotional intelligence of midlevel managers at a substance abuse treatment center and the turnover intentions among employees who report to them. Data collection involved administering 3 instruments - a demographic survey, the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale, and the Turnover Intentions Composite Measure- to 44 employees at a substance abuse treatment center. Data were analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlations. Results showed that participants who rated their supervisor high on emotional intelligence were less likely to report an intention to leave than were participants who rated their supervisor low on emotional intelligence. Social change implications include the potential for improving the process of identifying and training substance abuse training center leaders, thereby improving patient outcomes.