Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


This study examined the reporting practices used by higher education scholars to communicate the methods and analyses of studies using hierarchical linear and OLS regression models. The study consisted of three parts: (a) a citation analysis of sources associated with methods of hierarchical linear models, (b) a content analysis of reporting practices associated with studies that used hierarchical linear models, and (c) a content analysis of the arguments and corrections used by scholars who have used OLS regression techniques on nested data. When possible, results were compared to similar research. The data for this research was drawn from Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, and Research in Higher Education.

This study provides some of the first empirical evidence of how scholars communicate the tools of research in the published literature of the field. It also identified the reasons scholars use when electing to apply OLS regression techniques on data and designs for which multilevel approaches may also be suitable. Findings suggest a need to examine the current practices of the field and to identify a model of best practices for communicating and reporting the methods and results of studies using hierarchical linear models.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.