Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard Fossey

Second Advisor

Janice Hinson


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the intention to leave teaching of teachers early in their careers and the variables: teacher self-efficacy, teacher age, school size, community type, socioeconomic background of student population, student discipline, and salary. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to investigate these relationships. Survey data were collected from kindergarten through fifth grade teachers in Louisiana public schools, and interviews were conducted with those reporting the highest intention to leave. The quantitative data revealed school size to be significantly related to teacher intention to leave teaching, and teacher self-efficacy, student SES, and discipline to be significantly related to teacher intention to change schools. The qualitative data taken from the teacher interviews indicated student discipline and teacher salary as top reasons for teachers leaving teaching. In addition to low teacher salary, data from the qualitative analysis also suggested teacher preparation programs, mentoring for new teachers, and discipline policies and procedures as areas of concern in relation to teacher intention to leave. The participants in the qualitative portion of this study represented teachers who survived the first few years of teaching but who indicated their continued desire to leave teaching. This group of teachers may represent burned out and entrapped teachers.