Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Cynthia Tomovic

Committee Member

Donald Davis

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyh Yen


Calling upon principles of positive psychology, the quantitative study used structural equation modeling (SEM) to explore the relationships between teacher psychological capital (PsyCap), role ambiguity, role conflict, role overload, workplace stress, job satisfaction, job commitment, and intention to quit. Valid and reliable instruments from the literature were incorporated into a 64-item survey and distributed to 830 third through fifth grade teachers at seven northern Virginia school districts. In total, 225 complete responses were received. SEM testing rejected the exact-fit hypotheses and revealed insufficient overall fit between the study data and hypothesized models; thereby, providing no support for the proposed causal relationships. Furthermore, high unexplained variance in the models suggested unaccounted for variables in predicting teacher turnover. However, individual parameter estimates confirmed PsyCap's statistically significant relationship with satisfaction, commitment, stress, and intention to quit. Findings further supported new evidence establishing significant negative relationships between PsyCap and role conflict, ambiguity, and overload, which had not been previously studied. Additionally, the study was the first investigation of PsyCap with elementary school teachers and confirmed findings from manufacturing, engineering, service industry, and academia. The study was not without its limitations. SEM testing requires data be independent; however, teachers were nested within schools and within school districts, which increased the likelihood of type II errors. The alpha level was lowered to .01 to counter this limitation. Normality testing also indicated there was greater likelihood of multivariate non-normality, which detrimentally effects SEM fit statistics and chi-square testing. Despite strong literature support for the intention to quit measurement instrument, the reliability in this study was low enough to raise questions regarding its value to assess teacher turnover intention. Lastly, the sample size exceeded the academically accepted minimum of 200, but structural modeling benefits from a large robust data set typically in the thousands. Future studies would benefit from exploring the antecedents of PsyCap, the multilevel effects of PsyCap, the influence of workplace relationships on PsyCap and worker affect, and the impact on other desired educational outcomes.


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