Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Anne Hacker


Teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) have among the highest attrition rates of any teaching discipline in the United States. High attrition rates affect EBD teachers, school districts, and students with EBD. Through the theoretical lenses of Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory and Eisenberger's organizational support theory (OST), this study sought to determine if there was a difference in college preparation, job support, and job benefit/amenity factors identified by EBD teachers who intended to leave the discipline (n = 6) and those who intended to stay (n = 9). This quantitative, survey-based study yielded data from 15 EBD teachers. Results of independent-samples t-tests indicated there were no statistically significance differences in responses between the 2 groups. However, there were notable differences when the highest and lowest means scores of individual survey items were examined. The importance both groups placed on job supports when compared to college preparation and job benefit/amenities was evident. Additionally, the results indicated that EBD teachers planning on leaving the profession placed more importance on direct contact with school administrators when compared with those intending to stay. Results of this study should be taken with caution as they are drawn from a relatively small sample of EBD teachers. The results of the study may add to the field of research on EBD teacher attrition rates and possibly assist universities, educational leaders, and education policy makers in developing means to address this issue. Importantly, the results of the study could promote the professional success of EBD teachers as well as the academic, behavioral, and social growth of the students they teach.