For Secondary Schools (OCDQ-RS)

Dimensions (Subtests of the OCDQ-RS)

Supportive principal behavior is characterized by efforts to motivate teachers by using constructive criticism and setting an example through hard work. At the same time, the principal is helpful and genuinely concerned with the personal and professional welfare of teachers. Supportive behavior is directed toward both the social needs and task achievement of the faculty.

Directive principal behavior is rigid and domineering supervision. The principal maintains close and constant control over all teachers and school activities down to the smallest details

Engaged teacher behavior is reflected by high faculty morale. Teachers are proud of their school, enjoy working with each other, and are supportive of their colleagues. Teachers are not only concerned about each other, they are committed to the success of their students. They are friendly with students, trust students, and are optimistic about the ability of students to succeed.

Frustrated teacher behavior refers to a general pattern of interference from both administration and colleagues that distracts from the basic task of teaching. Routine duties, administrative paperwork, and assigned nonteaching duties are excessive; moreover, teachers irritate, annoy, and interrupt each other.

Intimate teacher behavior reflects a strong and cohesive network of social relationships among the faculty. Teachers know each other well, are close personal friends, and regularly socialize together.


Each of these dimensions was measured by a subtest of the OCDQ-RS. The reliability scores for the scales were relatively high: Supportive (.91), Directive (.87), Engaged (.85), Frustrated (.85), and Intimate (.71).

Construct Validity

A factor analysis of several samples of the instrument supports the construct validity of the concept of organizational climate (Hoy, Tarter, & Kottkamp, 1991; Hoy & Tarter, 1997). In addition, the predictive validity has been supported in other studies. See Hoy, Tarter, and Kottkamp (1991) for a review of that literature.

Administering the Instrument

The OCDQ-RS is best administered as part of a faculty meeting. It is important to guarantee the anonymity of the teacher respondent; teachers are not asked to sign the questionnaire and no identifying code is placed on the form. Most teachers do not object to responding to the instrument, which takes less than ten minutes to complete. It is probably advisable to have someone other than an administrator collect the data. It is important to create a non-threatening atmosphere where teachers give candid responses. All of the health and climate instruments follow the same pattern of administration.


The responses vary along a four-point scale defined by the categories "rarely occurs", "sometimes occurs", "often occurs", and "very frequently occurs." (1 through 4, respectively).

Step 1: Score each item for each respondent with the appropriate number (1, 2, 3, or 4).

Step 2: Calculate an average school score for each item. Round the scores to the nearest hundredth. This score represents the average school item score. You should have 34 average school item scores before proceeding.

Step 3: Sum the average school item scores as follows:

Supportive Behavior (S)=5+6+23+24+25+29+30
Directive Behavior (D)=7+12+13+18+19+31+32
Engaged Behavior (E)=3+4+10+11+16+17+20+28+33+34
Frustrated Behavior (F)=1+2+8+9+15+22
Intimate Behavior (Int)=14+21+26+27

You may wish to compare your school profile with other schools. We recommend that you convert each school score to a standardized score. The current data base on secondary schools is drawn from a large, diverse sample of schools in New Jersey. The average scores and standard deviations for each climate dimension are summarized below:

  Mean (M) Std. Deviation (SD)
Supportive Behavior (S) 18.19 2.66
Directive Behavior (D) 13.96 2.49
Engaged Behavior (E) 26.45 1.32
Frustrated Behavior (F) 12.33 1.98
Intimate Behavior (Int) 8.80 0.92

To make the comparisons easy, we recommend you standardize each of your subtest scores. Standardizing the scores gives them a "common denominator" that allows direct comparisons among all schools.

Computing Standardized Scores of the OCDQ-RS

First: Convert the school subtest scores to standardized scores with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, which we call SdS scores. Use the following formulas:

SdS for S=100(S-18.19)/2.66+500

Then compute the difference between your school score on S and the mean for the normative sample (S-18.19). Then multiply the difference by one hundred [100(S-18.19)]. Next divide the product by the standard deviation of the normative sample (2.66). Than add 500 to the result. You have computed a standardized score (SdS) for the supportive behavior subscale (S).

Next: Repeat the process for each dimension as follows:

SdS for D=100(D-13.96)/2.49+500
SdS for E=100(E-26.45)/1.32+500
SdS for F=100(F-12.33)/1.98+500
SdS for Int=100(Int-8.80)/.92+500

You have standardized your school scores against the normative data provided in the New Jersey sample. For example, if your school score is 600 on supportive behavior, it is one standard deviation above the average score on supportive behavior of all schools in the sample; that is, the principal is more supportive than 84% of the other principals. A score of 300 represents a school that is two standard deviations below the mean on the subtest. You may recognize this system as the one used in reporting individual scores on the SAT, CEEB, and GRE. The range of these scores is presented below:

If the score is 200, it is lower than 99% of the schools.
If the score is 300, it is lower than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 400, it is lower than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 500, it is average.
If the score is 600, it is higher than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 700, it is higher than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 800, it is higher than 99% of the schools.

There is one other score that can be easily computed and is often of interest, the general openness index for the school climate.

Openness=((SdS for S)+(1000-SdS for D)+(SdS for E)+(1000-SdS for F) )/ 4

This openness index is interpreted the same way as the subtest scores, that is, the mean of the "average" school is 500. Thus, a score of 650 on openness represents a highly open faculty. We have changed the numbers into categories ranging from high to low by using the following conversion table:

Above 600 VERY HIGH
551-600 HIGH
490-510 AVERAGE
400-449 LOW
Below 400 VERY LOW

We recommend using all the dimensions of OCDQ-RS to gain a finely tuned picture of school climate.

For further information:

Hoy, W. K., Tarter, C. J., & Kottkamp, R. B. (1991). Open schools/healthy schools: Measuring organizational climate. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Hoy, W. K., & Tarter, C. J. (1997). The road to open and healthy schools: A handbook for change, Elementary Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Ohio State School of Education
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