The relationship between school principals' perceived levels of stress and selected demographic variables

Lisa Gail Kilgore

Abstract

The following question was considered by this study: What is the relationship between the criterion variables of levels of perceived task-based stress, role-based stress, conflict-mediating stress, and boundary-spanning stress in school administrators and the independent variables of gender, years of experience, education level of the principal, grade range of school, type of school setting, and size of school population? The subjects were 295 building level principals currently practicing in a public school in the state of Mississippi. The instrument used in this study was the Administrative Stress Index, which was developed and validated by Gmelch and Swent in 1977. This survey contains 35 typical job situations pertaining to school administration. Responses are then classified as either task-based, role-based, conflict-mediating, or boundary-spanning stress. The statistical techniques of canonical correlation and Manova were utilized to analyze the data collected. The findings of this study suggest that there is a significant relationship between the group of criterion variables and the group of independent variables. In addition, there is a significant relationship between the criterion variables and the independent variables of gender and years in current position. It was also determined in the study that the highest stress means were found on the role-based stress factor in all four grade level groups. In addition, the level of stress attributed to working with special needs students and working within legal guidelines was considered high. Principals at all grade levels perceived the stress encountered by measuring student performance by the use of standardized tests to be very high.