Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Rachel Pienta


Approximately half of the public schools in the United States require uniforms or a formal dress policy and many are intended to reduce discipline problems and improve school climate. A suburban school district in Georgia recognized that there was an increase in discipline problems in their schools that affected the school climate. In an effort to promote school safety and improve climate, stakeholders at a district campus adopted a uniform policy. The purpose of this survey study was to examine the differences in perceived school climate between a district campus with a uniform policy and a similar campus with no uniform policy. The theoretical framework of this study was based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The American School Climate Survey-Teacher Version was sent electronically to all teachers from the 2 study sites. The final sample included 62 respondents, 32 from the school with uniforms and 30 from the school without uniforms. Mann-Whitney tests were used to test for differences in survey responses between the 2 groups. The climate of the school that required uniforms was rated significantly higher on 14 of the 25 survey items, including safety, reduced bullying, and improved student learning. There were no differences between group scores for the remaining survey items. Implications for positive social change include providing the findings to the local site as an initial step in investigating school climate and the possible impact of school uniforms. With increased information, the study district can make more informed decisions regarding the use of school uniforms, which might improve safety, reduce bullying, and improve student learning in the district.