Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

Patty Kero

Commitee Members

John Matt, Bill McCaw, Dean McGovern, Marian McKenna


University of Montana


This quantitative study examines the relationship between the leadership style of 19 Montana high school principals and the number of incidents of serious bullying that occurred in their schools during the 2011-2012 school year. Bullying behavior and its many negative ramifications is a problem of paramount importance for educators today. This study shines new light on the topic by testing the effect of the principal’s leadership behavior on one measurement of the bullying problem.

Data on principal leadership style, the independent variable, was gathered via the Multi- Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 360 Form 5X Short). This survey measured each leader’s transformational, transactional, and laissez faire leadership styles. Data on bullying behavior, the dependent variable, was gathered from a database on disciplinary incidents maintained by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Descriptive statistics were discussed concerning the rate of bullying incidents in the 19 high schools as well as the leadership styles of the 19 principals. The latter were compared against national norms. The variables were tested for a correlational relationship in ten distinct hypotheses. A correlational analysis (Spearman), a linear regression, as well as four tests of a multiple ANOVA were used to determine whether a relationship existed between variables.

A statistically significant relationship was found for two of the ten hypotheses. The results showed no statistically significant effect between variables for the other seven hypotheses. The results of the analyses are discussed as well as conclusions regarding their meaning and significance. Recommendations are made for practicing leaders, and questions and recommendations are raised for continued future research in the field.



© Copyright 2013 James Edward Fuller