Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


This study focused on ninth grade students attending school in two grade organization patterns, 7 through 9 and 9 through 12. Students' satisfaction levels with school as measured by the NASSP Student Satisfaction Survey and students' self-esteem measures on the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory were assessed to determine whether a relationship between grade organization, gender, satisfaction with school, and self-esteem existed. Ninth graders from one upper midwest community who attended a four-year high school (N=317) or a 7 through 9 junior high school

Findings revealed that both schools scored within the average range on all subscales of the Student Satisfaction Survey. Scores for males and females also were within the average range. Significant differences in the mean satisfaction scores were found. Ninth graders in the four-year high school expressed significantly greater satisfaction than junior high school students on the Teachers; Schoolwork; Activities; Discipline; Decision-Making; and Building, Supplies, and Upkeep subscales. The differences were not significant for males and females.

Significant interactions between school and gender were discerned through the analyses of the self-esteem scales. This indicated concomitant influences of school and gender on self-esteem measures on the General, Social, and Total Self scales. A consistent pattern persisted through all four analyses. Males' self-esteem scores were higher for junior high students; females' self-esteem scores were higher for senior high students. Grade organization patterns to enhance self-esteem differed by gender in the two schools studied. Consistently significant positive correlations between the eight satisfaction subscale scores and the four self-esteem measures were found.

While grade organization was found to affect student satisfaction and self-esteem, neither pattern was judged superior. The educational program provided was considered key. Educators should be sensitive to the many disruptions students realize in school transitions, the problematic self-esteem among adolescents, their dissatisfaction with elements of school, and their disparate levels of intellectual, social, and physical development.

Included in

Psychology Commons