Date of Award

8-1996

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. David Blomquist

Abstract

In an era of technological innovation, information explosion, and state and national calls for educational reform, it seems important to adopt processes that will allow for rapid diffusion of knowledge and implementation of new technologies into classrooms. The leadership provided by the principal is extremely important to this process. Unfortunately, principals can be overwhelmed by the conflicting expectations that have become associated with their role within the educational community.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the leadership attitudes of Michigan secondary school principals and the relationship of these attitudes to the work-related stress the surveyed principals indicated they experienced. Of the 234 principals surveyed, 207 returned completed survey instruments.

The instruments used in this study were the Tennessee Stress Scale-Revised (TSS-R, McWilliams & Schnorr, 1989), the Leadership Opinion Questionnaire (LOQ, Fleishman, 1989), and a demographic data sheet. The variables for the study included TSS-R total stress scores, TSS-R coping scores, LOQ consideration scores, LOQ structure scores, gender, age, marital status, years of work experience as a principal, level of educational preparation, grade levels for which the principal is responsible, presence of an assistant principal, environment, athletic classification as an indication of school size, hours worked per week, and principai seif-estimate of stress.

The study showed significant relationships between TSS-R total stress levels and the following variables: TSS-R coping levels, LOQ consideration levels, years of work experience as a principal, level of educational preparation, grade levels for which the principal is responsible, presence of an assistant principal, and principal self-estimate of stress.

The findings indicate that principals often do not cope well with their perceived stress and that they are not always able to define the level of stress they are experiencing. Although increased years of experience, advanced educational preparation, and reduced range of responsibilities have a positive impact upon stress levels, the presence of an assistant principal appears to be a somewhat stronger factor in lowered stress levels. Further research, however, will be necessary to establish the exact nature and degree of the relationships found in this study.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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