Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Preference for hierarchical control (PHC) was studied among Catholic priests and religious (ordained and lay) and Baptist ministers in Louisiana and Gulf Coast area (n = 240). Groups represented decreasing strength of hierarchical church structure based on criteria of Mackey (1972). Strength of PHC, as measured by Cochran's (1975) Hierarchical Control Scale, should be influenced by the subject's membership involvement in church structure and his age. The Job Description Index (Smith, et al., 1969) measured job satisfaction (JS) as it related to PHC in the descending order of church structures. Because perceptions differ, JS was analyzed again as a function of the person's own perception of power in his group/church and his PHC. Lastly, the 16 Personality Factor Test (Cattell, et al., 1970) measured personalities of high and low PHC scorers. Results indicated groups were different in PHC but not as hypothesized. PHC scores here were higher than all others reported in the literature except for policemen. Baptist ministers scored highest, followed by Catholic brothers and diocesan priests. Religious priests scored significantly lowest. Except for the last two groups, the order was essentially opposite than predicted. Age had a significant effect with older persons scoring higher on PHC. JS was not influenced when analyzed in relation to PHC and theoretical structure of church groups. JS was also not influenced when analyzed in relation to PHC and the person's own perception of power in his group/church. Perception of power by groups, however, did match that proposed in the research design and was negatively correlated with PHC and overall JS. Those who had high PHC scores tended to be less assertive, less tenderminded, less imaginative, quite conscientious, more socially polished and more controlled. They had a significantly higher level of leadership qualities. Low PHC scorers were more assertive, imaginative, forthright, expedient and undisciplined. Questions were raised about PHC scale, conceptualization of group structures and homogeneity of groups. Clarification of the PHC construct to include preference to be the controller as well as endorse control from above, explained present and past data. Further research was suggested to study questions implied in present results.