Date of Graduation
Logistic regression analyses assessed the ability of critical stress, locus of control and Type A behavior pattern to predict degree completion in a non-traditional Ed.D. program. The population consisted of students admitted to the Cooperative Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership Studies, a collaborative program offered by West Virginia University and Marshall University, from 1980 through 1997. The sample included 107 (74%) eligible respondents to the survey. Sixty-four percent of respondents were female, 36% were male with the average age at entering the doctoral program 39.5 years. Ninety-two percent of respondents were employed full-time during doctoral study. The student's scores on the Framingham Type A Scale (Haynes, Levine, Scotch, Feinleib & Kannel, 1978) and the Adult Internal-External Locus of Control Scale (Nowicki & Duke, 1973) determined Type A behavior pattern and locus of control respectively. The Doctoral Student Questionnaire (DSQ) was created to collect demographic information, academic information and perceptions of critical stress encountered during doctoral study. Relevant questions from prior research on the impact of stress on doctoral completion (Feick, 1969; Nagi, 1974; Tierce, 1984; Wood, 1978) were adapted to assess critical stress. When independent logistic regression analyses were conducted on each psychosocial variable, all three were statistically significant predictors of doctoral completion. Thus, Type A personality, internal locus of control and the lack of a period of critical stress resulting in a discontinuation of doctoral study significantly predicted degree completion (p < .05). When a stepwise method was used to analyze the variables one significant predictor of doctoral completion was identified, the occurrence of critical stress (p < .001). Ancillary findings included an observed attrition rate of 26% in this sample. The mean time to doctoral degree was 5.02 years and was not significantly impacted by personality type or locus of control. Students experiencing a period of critical stress took significantly longer to obtain the degree as compared to students who denied critical stress during doctoral study (p < .001).
McDermott, Barbara J., "The utility of perceived stress, locus of control, and Type A behavior pattern as predictors of doctoral degree completion in a non-traditional Ed.D. program." (2002). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9389.