Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Higher Education

Number of Pages



This study explored perceptions of administrators, teachers, stay-ins, and dropouts about personal interactions and the influence of a school's social environment on interactions as they pertained to students dropping out of high school. Symbolic Interactionism and Moos' Social Environment Theories served as the theoretical basis for framing the investigation of interactions within a school's social environment; This study was conducted at two comprehensive high schools in the Clark County School District (Las Vegas, NV). Participants consisted of six school administrators, six teachers, six stay-ins (students who remained in school), and six dropouts who were evenly divided between the two selected schools. Data were collected and analyzed using naturalistic research methods. Data collection consisted of conducting individual, semi-formal interviews; completing questionnaires; and gathering pertinent documents while analysis consisted of using the computer software, "The Ethnograph," to code interview data and assist in creating core categories that related to and interacted with the research questions; Data analysis pointed to the perceptions of the participants who felt that student involvement in school activities and programs was important; conflict and fear on campus affected the social environment; peer group interactions were influential; blame for dropping out of school rested on the dropout and his or her family; and communication at school, through feelings, perceptions, and beliefs were very important in interpreting the meanings of different interactions; The perceptions of conflict/fear, involvement in school, and activities/programs indicated the important role the schools' social environments have on interactions with regard to dropping out. The perceptions of how feelings and directions were communicated, the blame and responsibilities for dropping out placed on the dropout, and how individuals interacted within their peer groups pointed to the importance of personal interactions on the two high school campuses.


Administrators; Dropouts; Environment; Ins; Interactions; Perspective; School; Social; Stay; Teachers; Voices

Controlled Subject

Educational counseling; School management and organization; Educational sociology

File Format


File Size

4229.12 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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