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The relationships among principal characteristics, school demographic variables, preventive coping resources, and stressors of public school principals in Florida

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Title:
The relationships among principal characteristics, school demographic variables, preventive coping resources, and stressors of public school principals in Florida
Creator:
Weber-Sorice, Constance A
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[Gainesville, Fla]
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University of Florida
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xv, 244 leaves : ; 29 cm.

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Demography ( jstor )
Educational administration ( jstor )
Outcome variables ( jstor )
Psychological stress ( jstor )
Questionnaires ( jstor )
School enrollment ( jstor )
School principals ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Syntactical antecedents ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations -- UF ( lcsh )
Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations thesis, Ph.D ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2002.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Printout.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Constance A. Weber-Sorice.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Constance A. Weber-Sorice. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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65519526 ( OCLC )

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THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS, SCHOOL
DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES, PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES, AND
STRESSORS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN FLORIDA















By

CONSTANCE A. WEBER-SORICE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2002


















This dissertation is dedicated to my husband, sons, parents, and mother-in-law.
May it always symbolize my love of learning and strong beliefs in dedication,
persistence, and hope. In addition, may it serve as a reminder of the value of belief
in oneself and others; the importance of patience; and the strength of love,
support, and encouragement.














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This educational dream and journey would not have been entirely possible

without the support and assistance from my family, friends, and committee

members.

First, and foremost, I recognize the unending belief my husband, Rocky,

has had in me. Even before beginning the program, Rocky conveyed his pride and

certainty of my success in whatever endeavors I pursued. In addition, Rocky has

been my best friend, relentless ear, shoulder to cry on, and sense of humor to

guide me over the bumps.

Secondly, my husband and I could not have asked for two better sons.

Rocky III has transitioned from elementary school, to middle school, to high school

during my doctoral studies. His maturity, encouraging questions, reminders of the

study habits I have modeled, gentle accountability for writing, and encouraging

words have kept me on the road to completion. Our youngest son, Chad, has

guided me throughout my studies by reminding me of the real priorities in life. The

innocence in Chad's voice, his smiles, hugs, and artwork have helped me get

through the times when I just did not know.

Being one of seven children, one might think that there would not have been

enough love, time, and encouragement to go around. However, my parents have

always managed to be there for me, to encourage me, to help with the boys, and

to share their sense of pride in me. For my mom and dad's love and support, I am








forever grateful. Along with my mom and dad, I must acknowledge the support,

friendship, and assistance that my sisters have given me. Throughout these six

years they have listened to my stories, even when the stories did not seem to

make sense. In addition, they were never short on telling me how proud they were

of me. Their kind words of encouragement helped keep me going.

At the same time, my mother-in-law has given unselfishly her time,

assistance, and love. She has been there to love my sons when I could not be

there and has encouraged me with her conveyance of pride in me.

My committee members have each contributed to my accomplishments in a

unique way. Dr. Phil Clark, my committee chair, had high expectations for me. He

not only modeled integrity and professionalism throughout my program of studies

but also shared his enthusiasm and pleasure in each of my accomplishments. My

cochair, Dr. Anne Seraphine, sparked my desire to know more. She helped me

keep the thoughts flowing. Her guidance, assistance, words of encouragement,

sense of humor, candidness, and friendship helped make learning fun. For being a

role model, I extend my appreciation to Dr. Jim Doud. When times were tough, he

shined as an example. When I needed someone to help me work through issues,

he listened. And when I needed a shot in the arm, he was honest and gave it to

me. Most of all, I thank Dr. Doud for teaching me the importance of reflecting. I

also wish to thank Dr. Tom Oakland for helping me understand myself even better.

His gentle words of encouragement and praise, as well as unselfish gift of time, did

not go unnoticed. I also thank Dr. Fran Vandiver for keeping me on my toes with

her challenging and insightful questions.








When the bumps in the road arise, we also call upon our friends.

Acknowledgement must be extended to my traveling buddy and colleague,

Mev Waskiewicz. Without her friendship and support both at work and throughout

the doctoral program, the journey would not have been the same, or as much fun.

She was there for me during the meltdowns and she was there for the

celebrations. Most of all, she was there just to listen. Next, a sincere appreciation

is offered to my secretary, Agnes King, for helping protect my time and for

reminding me that it was time to end the work day. She was the caregiver when I

was tired and hungry. Finally, thanks are extended to the former graduates for their

inspiration and confidence.

Acknowledgment must be paid to Superintendent Bill Hall and the principals

in Volusia County. Not only have they been an inspiration to me in their dedication

to our students and staff, but also they have encouraged and assisted me in this

journey by participating in my pilot study and by making themselves available for

interviews and activities. Very special thanks are extended to Marilyn Travis,

principal, for always being there to ask probing questions, for representing

principals with her ideas, for valuing what I had to share, and for encouraging me

in this venture.

Special appreciation is extended to Joyce Dolbier and Barbara Smerage,

my editors. Their expertise and experience were invaluable to me in helping

smooth out the rough edges of my dissertation and in getting the correct format. In

addition, both Joyce and Barbara were most gracious with their schedules, helping

me meet the self-imposed and university deadlines.








Although some might forget, the staff at UF must be acknowledged. From

the personnel in the Registrar's Office, Financial Services, IRB office, to those in

the libraries, departmental staff, and security, I appreciated the friendliness and

assistance I received. Even though UF has thousands of students, I was always

made to feel like I was the first person asking the question and that my needs were

important.

Finally, I thank God for the talents and abilities He has given me. I also

thank Him for keeping me strong, healthy, and safe over the course of my doctoral

program. My prayers for help were heard and answered.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ....................................................................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................. xi

LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................. xiii

ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................ xiv

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................. 1

Statement of the Problem ................................................................................. 3
Purpose of the Study...................................................................................... 22
Question 1 .................................................................................................. 23
Question 2.................................................................................................. 23
Hypothesis 1 .............................................................................................. 23
Hypothesis 2 ............................................................................................. 23
Hypothesis 3 .............................................................................................. 23
Glossary of Terms.......................................................................................... 24
Significance of the Study................................................................................ 26
Delimitations and Limitations of the Study...................................................... 28
Delimitations .............................................................................................. 28
Limitations.................................................................................................. 28
Organization of the Remainder of the Study .................................................. 29

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.................................................................... 30

Introduction to Stress and Coping .................................................................. 30
The Concept of Stress ............................................................................... 32
Historical Models of Stress......................................................................... 34
Stress and Coping: Current Perspectives.................................................. 38
Stress, Appraisal, and Coping.................................................................... 40
Coping ....................................................................................................... 46
Coping Resources ..................................................................................... 49
Demands in the Principalship......................................................................... 54
Principals and Stress ................................................................................. 57
Coping in the Principalship......................................................................... 66


vii








3 METHODOLOGY....................................................................................... 70

Mediational Model .......................................................................................... 70
Question 1 .................................................................................................. 72
Analysis of Question 1 ............................................................................... 72
Question 2.................................................................................................. 72
Analysis of Question 2 ............................................................................... 72
Hypothesis 1 .............................................................................................. 73
Analysis of Hypothesis 1 ............................................................................ 73
Hypothesis 2 .............................................................................................. 74
Analysis of Hypothesis 2............................................................................ 74
Hypothesis 3 .............................................................................................. 74
Analysis of Hypothesis 3............................................................................ 74
Participants .................................................................................................... 76
Institutional Review Board Procedure and Approval.................................. 76
Population .................................................................................................. 77
Sample....................................................................................................... 79
Instrumentation .............................................................................................. 87
Introduction ................................................................................................ 87
Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire................... 90
Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI)....................................................... 91
Administrative Stress Index (ASI) .............................................................. 95
Reliability of Instruments.......................................................................... 100
Procedures................................................................................................... 101
Pilot Study................................................................................................ 101
Research Study ...................................................................................... 103
Data Analysis ............................................................................................... 105

4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ......................................................... 111

Introduction .................................................................................................. 111
Question 1 ................................................................................................ 112
Question 2................................................................................................ 112
Hypothesis 1 ............................................................................................ 112
Hypothesis 2 ............................................................................................ 112
Hypothesis 3 ............................................................................................ 112
Analyses and Quantitative Results............................................................... 113
Question 1 ................................................................................................ 113
Analysis.................................................................................................... 113
Question 2................................................................................................ 114
Analysis.................................................................................................... 114
Hypothesis Testing....................................................................................... 120
Hypothesis 1 ............................................................................................ 127
Analysis of Hypothesis 1 .......................................................................... 127
Hypothesis 2 ............................................................................................ 130
Analysis of Hypothesis 2.......................................................................... 130



viii








H ypothesis 3 ............................................................................................ 133
A analysis of Hypothesis 3 ................................................................. ....... .. 133
Q ualitative R results ....................................................................................... 138
S um m ary of R results .......................................................................... ........... 140

5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS143

Intro d uctio n .................................................................................................. 14 3
Q ue stio n 1 ................................................................................................ 144
Q ue stio n 2 ............................................................................................... 14 4
H ypothesis 1 ............................................................................................ 144
H ypothesis 2 ............................................................................................ 144
H ypothesis 3 ............................................................................................ 144
Summary and Discussion of Results............................................................ 146
Descriptive Data Results.......................................................................... 148
Q uantitative Data Results ........................................................................ 154
C conclusions .................................................................................................. 166
Im p licatio ns .................................................................................................. 17 1
T he o ry ...................................................................................................... 17 1
P ra ctice .................................................................................................... 17 2
Recommendations for Future Research....................................................... 174

APPENDIX

A LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION TO USE THE ADMINISTRATIVE
ST R E S S IN D EX ........................................................................................... 177

B PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX 179

C LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION TO USE THE PREVENTIVE
RESOURCES INVENTORY......................................................................... 181

D PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE PREVENTIVE RESOURCES
IN V E N T O R Y ................................................................................................ 183

E REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF
E D U C A T IO N ................................................................................................ 185

F UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE
T R E S S IN D EX ............................................................................................. 187

G LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE
ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX............................................................ 190

H UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE
ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX............................................................ 192








I PARTICIPANT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE
ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX............................................................ 194

J ADMINISTRATIVE STRES INDEX-PILOT STUDY...................................... 196

K UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY........................ 199

L LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH
S T U D Y ......................................................................................................... 2 0 3

M UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH
S T U D Y ......................................................................................................... 2 0 5

N UFIRB APPROVAL TO INCREASE SAMPLE SIZE FOR FINAL
R ES EA RC H ST U DY .................................................................................... 207

O PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS/SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC
Q U EST IO N NA IR E........................................................................................ 209

P ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX............................................................ 212

Q PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY................................................. 215

R LETTER TO PRINCIPALS-SECOND MAILING........................................... 219

S GIFT CARD PREFERENCE FORM ............................................................. 221

T RESPONSE CARD FOR PRINCIPAL PARTICIPANTS............................... 223

U OPEN ENDED RESPONSES TO SOURCES OF STRESS ........................ 225

V OPEN ENDED RESPONSES TO PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES.. 233

R E FE R E N C E S ................................................................................................. 237

BIO G RA PHICA L SKETCH ............................................................................... 243














LIST OF TABLES


Table page


2-1 Rank and Mean Scores of Top Stressors by Administrative Position
as Reported by Gmelch and Swent (1984)................................................ 60

3-1 Principal Respondents' Characteristics for Pilot Study .............................. 80

3-2 Principal Respndents' Personal Characteristics for Actual Study ..............82

3-3 Principal Respondents' Professional Characteristics for Actual Study.......85

3-4 Principal Respondents' School Demographic Characteristics ................... 88

3-5 Ranks, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Individual
Stressors as Reported by Gmelch and Swent (1984)................................ 97

3-6 Reliability Coeffi cients.............................................................................. 101

4-1 Principals' Perceived Stressors as Measured on the Administrative
S tress Index ............................................................................................. 1 15

4-2 Frequencies of Responses for Top Ten Perceived Stressors.................. 118

4-3 Principals' Preventive Coping Resources as Measured on the
Preventive Resources Inventory.............................................................. 121

4-4 Frequencies of Responses for Top Ten Preventive Coping
R eso urces................................................................................................ 12 5

4-5 Descriptive Statistics of Antecedent, Mediating, and Outcome
Variables for Hypotheses 1 and 3............................................................ 129

4-6 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression
Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations
for H ypothesis 1 ....................................................................................... 13 1








4-7 Descriptive Statistics of Mediating and Outcome Variables for
H ypothesis 2 ............................................................................................ 132

4-8 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression
Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations
for H ypothesis 2 ....................................................................................... 132

4-9 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression
Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations
for the First Step of Hypothesis 3............................................................. 135

4-10 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression
Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations
for the Second Step of Hypothesis 3 ....................................................... 137

5-1 Comparison of Reported Reliability Coefficients for the Preventive
Resources Inventory................................................................................ 165














LIST OF FIGURES


Figure Page

1-1 Hypothesized model of prevention in stress and coping.............................. 20

1-2 Conceptual model of principal characteristics, school demographics,
preventive coping resources, and stress...................................................... 22

3-1 M ediational m odel........................................................................................ 71














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS, SCHOOL
DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES, PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES, AND
STRESSORS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN FLORIDA

By

Constance A. Weber-Sorice

December 2002

Chair: Phillip A. Clark
Cochair: Anne E. Seraphine
Major Department: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among principal

characteristics, school demographic variables, and the preventive coping

resources of principals in relation to their level of stress. In addition, the study

explored the extent to which preventive coping resources, functioning as a

mediating variable, accounted for differences in principals' stress levels. A

stratified random sample of public school principals in Florida was drawn.

Stratification was based on school level and district enrollment group (PK-12

membership). The resultant sample of 216 principals was surveyed for this study.

A total of 116 surveys were returned resulting in a response rate of 55%.

Principals' perceived sources of stress were operationalized by their

responses on the Administrative Stress Index developed by Gmelch and Swent.

Principals' preventive coping resources were assessed through self-report








answers on the Preventive Resources Inventory, developed by McCarthy and

Lambert. Principal characteristics and school demographic variables were derived

from responses on a questionnaire designed specifically for this study.

A mediational model guided the development of the questions, hypotheses,

and subsequent analyses for this study. Two research questions and three

hypotheses were formulated to produce quantitative data. In addition, two open-

ended questions were asked to assess other possible sources of stress for

principals and additional ways of preventing stress. A series of regression

analyses were used to examine the relationships between the antecedent,

mediating, and outcome variables.

The results did not support the hypotheses that principal characteristics and

school demographic variables are significantly associated with either principals'

preventive coping resources or principals' stress levels. Results of this study also

did not indicate that preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between

principal characteristics and school demographic variables and principals' stress

levels. However, the results of this study did indicate a significant relationship

between principals' stress levels and their preventive coping resources.

Subsequently, the theoretical and practical implications, as well as the importance

of studying the role of preventive coping resources as it relates to principals'

stressors, continues to be demonstrated.













CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Advocating for preventive health and stress management, Ivancevich and

Matteson (1980) have pointed out that job-related stress has become critically

important to medical specialists, behavioral scientists, and organization

managers. Although no one can determine precisely the cost of stress-induced

poor health, Ivancevich and Matteson, in the 1980s, noted that an estimated

$18-25 billion was being lost each year through managers' absences,

hospitalizations, or deaths.

The link between high levels of stress and illness has been demonstrated

in both children and adults. For example, Greenberg (1993) submitted that

prolonged levels of stress across periods of time have been associated with

hypertension, strokes, coronary heart disease, ulcers, migraine and tension

headaches, cancer, allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and backaches. In

addition, Greenberg reported that prolonged stress arousal has been linked to

difficulties in interpersonal relationships, lowered work performance,

absenteeism, wasted energy, depleted emotions, lowered self-confidence,

increased job tension, and difficulties with clear thinking.

Too much work or frequent frustrations at work also can lead to an

individual's physical and emotional exhaustion or burnout. Although burnout can

be viewed through a series of phases, advanced burnout has individual and

organizational outcomes. Such consequences include decreases in job








satisfaction and involvement, group cohesiveness, sense of humor, and

performance indicators. In addition, burnout has been associated with increases

in physical complaints and emotional symptoms, the incidence of nonpsychotic

psychiatric symptoms, social withdrawal, turnover, self-medication, and medical

insurance costs (Golembiewski, 1996; Greenberg, 1993). As a result of these

outcomes of stress, organizations ultimately experience lost opportunities due to

employees' lowered creativity levels and diminished inclination to take

reasonable risks (Ivancevich & Matteson, 1980).

In light of the negative effects of stress on employees, managers are

becoming more aware of their responsibility for promoting a healthy fit between

the individuals in the organization and the work environment. Ivancevich and

Matteson (1980) have reported that preventive health and stress management

includes any activities that (a) serve to protect individuals from exposure to

stressors; or (b) that enhance the individual's mental and physical capabilities to

resist, or withstand, the onset of these unfavorable situations, events, or

thoughts. As such, organizational attempts toward preventive health

management have been conveyed as positive advancements in the direction of

conserving, utilizing, and developing human resources.

Managers are responsible for a number of major roles in organizations.

They must coordinate, communicate, make decisions, plan and control work

activities, as well as encourage subordinates to perform optimally (Ivancevich

& Matteson, 1980). The demands, roles, and task expectations being placed on

principals today are also expanding. As such, their perceived stressors and








degrees of stress are changing. In 1994, more than 100,000 books, magazines,

and journal articles had been written on the topic of stress (Gmelch & Chan,

1994). However, in education, the literature and research have only periodically

addressed the major sources of stress for school principals. Lesser emphasis

has been placed on research relevant to the coping strategies principals utilize

once they perceive or experience stress and strain. Therefore, research

initiatives should expand to include the identification of current sources of

workplace stress, and strategies for coping once the stress is perceived, as well

as the preventive coping resources principals have in place that will enable them

to prevent or minimize the impact of these stressful situations.

Subsequently, this chapter continues with a statement of the problem, the

purpose of the study, the glossary of terms, the significance of the study, and the

delimitations and limitations of the study.

Statement of the Problem

Gmelch and Chan (1994) have contended that educational leaders in the

twenty-first century will be "faced with more pressure, more aggression, more

change, and more conflict than in any other period in education" (p. 1). Barth

(1990) recognized that principals are facing startling changes in their roles,

dwindling resources, and new challenges to meet federal and state guidelines.

These changes for principals are combined with a lack of explicit knowledge

about the skills needed in order to be effective leaders.

Doud and Keller (1998) observed that significant changes have occurred

in the demands placed on principals since Doud's earlier national study of

principals (1989). In Doud and Keller's survey, more than 50% of the 1,323








respondents noted increased responsibilities in 8 of 11 identified areas. Similarly,

Deal and Peterson (1994) have written that the role of the principal has evolved.

Functions are related to controlling behavior, increasing scores on standardized

tests, categorizing students for vocational tracks, and standardizing procedures

in highly regulated, complex organizations.

As has been noted, principals represent multiple constituencies. Reviews

of the literature show that principals are agents for the state, the local community,

the educational profession, and most importantly the children within their school.

In addition to serving as an advocate for the children within their school, the

principal's responsibilities have included staying abreast of the current laws,

rules, and legislation enacted by the state. Likewise, principals are charged with

the duties of implementing and carrying out the related policies and directives in

order to provide the best education for the children within their school. At the

same time, principals continue to serve the parents who send their children to the

school, ensuring a nurturing, safe instructional environment that meets the needs

of the students. Finally, the principal's responsibilities have also included working

with instructional staff for the promotion and provision of best practices within the

school. Balancing these constituencies is not easy (Starratt, 1995). Relative to

this, Pines and Aronson (1988) have pointed out that "the quality of professional

interactions in human service professions is affected by the number of people for

whom the professional is providing care. As this number increases so does the

cognitive, sensory, and emotional overload of the professional" (p. 188).





5

Relative to the roles of principals, Leithwood, Cousins, and Smith (1990)

have documented the nature of problems principals typically encounter during

the course of a school year. Interviews with 11 elementary school principals and

10 secondary school principals revealed that two-thirds of the principals'

problems centered on the internal workings of the school, its staff and

constituents. Leithwood et al. added that the remaining one-third of the principals'

problems arose from aspects of the internal workings of the school, which

generally did not require their frequent attention. Of significance, the predominant

category of problems for principals related to teachers, with the majority of the

specific teacher problems having the potential for direct impact on instruction.

Following this category were problems encountered with school routines,

students, and parents. Student concerns not only included discipline and

attendance but also incidences of child abuse and the need for counseling on

diploma options.

New demands on school leaders today have resulted from the competing

demands on how schools should function and be organized (Murphy & Louis,

1999). In particular, continued pressure toward national and/or state standards

has resulted in uniform expectations with regard to student performance and

internal school procedures. The public continues to expect accountability and

evidence that educational programs are rendering their intended effects

(Barth, 1990). As evidence of these expectations, the Gallup Organization

reported the following findings from its survey of 1,108 adults regarding the

public's attitudes toward the public schools. Fifty-four percent of the respondents








favored not renewing the contract of the principal if the public school in their

community did not show progress toward meeting state-approved standards for

student learning (Rose & Gallup, 2001). Similarly, in a sample of 1,000 adults,

56% of the respondents surveyed by Rose and Gallup in 2002 again favored the

non-renewal of principals' contracts for failure to meet state-approved standards

for student learning. The public's demand for this accountability and performance

has resulted in a dramatic increase in the emphasis on alternatives to the

traditional public school education, including charter schools, home education,

school choice, and vouchers. Consequently, these growing alternatives have

necessitated an additional role for principals, one that involves marketing public

education in order to secure appropriate financial and psychological support

(Doud & Keller, 1998).

Coupled with the aforementioned demands for uniformity and

accountability, there has simultaneously been the expectation that school

governance and organization be decentralized, with committees of teachers and

parents ultimately determining what should be taught and how the school should

be run. Barth (1990) has added that principals continue to adjust to this shared

authority with school improvement teams, teachers, parents, and students.

Accompanying these opposing pursuits of uniformity and decentralization has

been the challenge for school leaders to provide an educational system that is

market driven and responsive to the demands of the consumers. As principals

have weighed out these competing charges, they have had to deal with what this

means in their role, to the organization of the school, and their ability to adapt to








change (Murphy & Louis, 1999). Relative to these competing obligations, Pines

and Aronson (1988) have found that occupational stress is often related to the

need to feel that work is meaningful and successful. The most stressful aspects

stem from the frustrated hopes and expectations, as well as the obstacles that

prevent individuals from reaching their goals.

Barth (1990) articulated the generalization that the "work life of a principal

is depleting" (p. 66). He emphasized, "The responsibility for the education and

physical safety of hundreds of other people's children for 10 months a year

presents extraordinary personal and professional difficulties, which take their toll

on the effectiveness of school leaders" (p. 65). The number of hours an individual

works has been related to a sense of fatigue, overload, boredom, and stress

level (Pines & Aronson, 1988). Doud and Keller (1998) reported that 89% of the

K-8 principals surveyed in their 1998 study worked longer than the standard

40-hour work week. Although the mean number of hours worked per day was

reported to be 9, 51% of the respondents indicated that they spent 10 or more

hours each day at school. In addition, 66% of the K-8 principal respondents

noted that they spent approximately 8 or fewer additional hours per week in

school-related activities. In all, K-8 principals reported in 1998 that they spent, on

average, 54 hours per week on school-related activities. Doud and Keller noted

that this was an increase from the 51 hours reported in 1988 and the

45 hours reported by K-8 principals in 1978.

Stressors are found in all aspects of being a principal, including the nature

of the work, the school environment, the interactions with the individuals with








whom principals work, and within their own personalities and dispositions.

Varying sources of stress are considered to provoke distinct reactions in different

principals (Gmelch & Chan, 1994). Although individuals may differ in their

responses to stress, burnout is considered to be unavoidable for almost

everyone if uncontrollable and chronic pressures are placed on individuals

without adequate support (Pines & Aronson, 1988).

Whitaker (1995) has claimed that principals are particularly sensitive to

burnout due to the complex nature of their jobs. Burnout negatively impacts

personal and professional lives, as well as interpersonal relationships. In all, work

stress leading to burnout has threatening outcomes not only for an individual's

health but also for negative organizational effects (i.e., decreased job

involvement and productivity, lower morale, increased sick leave, and impaired

decision making) (Golembiewski, 1996).

Whitaker's review of the literature has shown significant relationships

between principal burnout and the isolation inherent in the principal's role, the

amount of time and effort expended in the role, role ambiguity, boundary

spanning, and the organizational structure of the school system. Despite these

relationships, very few studies have been conducted relative to principal burnout.

In her study of 107 principals (representing elementary, middle and high school

levels), Whitaker noted that 19.6% of the respondents scored high in their

emotional exhaustion and 13.1% high in depersonalization. Principals in the

35-44 year age group had significantly higher scores in these areas. Additional

follow-up interviews with principals scoring high in these aforementioned areas








revealed four general themes that contributed to the feelings of emotional

exhaustion and depersonalization. These included (a) increasing demands of the

principalship (i.e., accountability pressures, time management issues, increased

paperwork, and tensions related to restructuring), (b) lack of clarity in roles

relative to site-based management and shared decision making, (c) lack of

recognition (with a perceived need for more intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and

recognition, particularly from the central office), and (d) decreasing autonomy

because of collaborative decision making.

Stress has been specified as the second most frequently cited reason for

principals desiring to leave their position, noted by 52% of the principal

respondents (Barth, 1990). Subsequently, Barth reported that two-thirds of the

nation's 100,000 principals intended to quit or retire by the turn of the century,

with the best principals seeming to be the ones intending to leave. Coinciding

with this, Whitaker (1995) reported in her study of principals that slightly over

26% of the principals indicated that they did not plan to remain in the role until

retirement. Reasons cited for this intent to leave included emotional exhaustion

and depersonalization.

Deal and Peterson (1994) have affirmed that the pressures presented to

today's principals do not show signs of lessening in severity. Yet, the importance

of strong leadership has consistently been reported in the research on effective

and successful schools (DuFour & Eaker, 1992; National Center for Education

Statistics, 2000). Relevant to strong leadership, Bennis and Nanus (1985)

identified the leader's persistence and self-knowledge, willingness to take risks








and accept losses, commitment, consistency and challenge, as well as the

leader's learning as being essential for successful organizations.

Stress has been described as a broad domain that encompasses

"how individuals and organizations adjust to their environments; achieve high

levels of performance and health; and become distressed in various

physiological, medical, behavioral, or psychological ways" (Quick, Quick, Nelson,

& Hurrell, 1997, pp. 2-3). The stress response begins with a demand or stressor,

triggering a series of psychological and physiological activities. These authors

describe this stress response as relating to the "generalized, patterned,

unconscious mobilization of the body's natural energy resources when

confronted with a demand, or stressor" (p. 3).

Within the stress response, there is first a repositioning of the body's

resources to where they are needed in the event of an emergency. This

aforementioned unconscious mobilization is prompted by the release of

catecholamines (primarily adrenaline and noradrenaline) into the bloodstream,

arousing the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine or

hormonal systems. The activation of these systems results in the stress response

generally experienced with an elevated heart rate, increased respiration and

perspiration, and a tightening of the large muscle groups throughout the body.

A heightened sense of alertness follows as a result of the reticular activating

system in the ancient brain stem. This alertness amplifies the individual's vision,

hearing, and other sensory processes, enabling the individual to be more aware

of the surroundings. Such responses prepare the individual to fight or to flee,








thus the descriptive fight-or-flight stress response. Next, there is a release of

glucose and fatty acids which sustain the individual. Finally, there is a shutting

down of the body's emergent and restorative processes (i.e., digestion) during

the stress response (Quick et al., 1997).

Such processes are necessary for an individual's long-term general

health, though not considered to be essential during emergencies. In summary,

the mind-body changes that occur during a stress response are intended to lead

to an individual's heightened performance. However, Quick et al. caution that

when the stress response is not attended to, distress occurs.

Early definitions of stress reported throughout the research have been

response- or situation-based. However, from the attention directed to stress in

the mid-1960s, researchers noted that not all events that were perceived to be

stressful actually turned out to be stressful. Similarly, what one individual

perceived to be stressful was not necessarily stressful to others. Likewise, when

an individual was exposed to the same stressor at different times or under

different conditions, his or her reaction to the stressor might have varied

significantly (McGrath, 1970a).

Response-based definitions of stress were characterized by a specified

set of responses, which indicated that the individual or organism was under

stress. McGrath (1970a) contended that there were weaknesses with this

definition. First, it was proposed that many conditions generally not considered to

be stressful (i.e., surprise, passion, exercise) would be classified as stressful

based on the response pattern. Secondly, the same response pattern may have








arisen from completely different stimulus situations, which may or may not have

been interpreted by the individual as being stressful. For instance, an individual's

blood pressure and heart rate increased with both exercise and in frightening

situations. However, the psychological meaning of these two situations was very

different for the individual.

Situation-based definitions of stress, on the other hand, seemed to avoid

the problems associated with response-based definitions of stress because they

involved the presence of certain classes of situations. Once again, researchers

had difficulty identifying what kinds of situations or what properties of these

situations created stress. Of particular interest was how to explain the broad

range of individual differences in response to the same, presumably stressful,

situation (McGrath, 1970a). Stressors were found to be defined individually,

within the context of the individual's personal experiences. Appley and Trumbull

(1984), in particular, recognized that categories of stressors or even the same

stressor at varying times resulted in differing responses within individuals. These

responses varied in their magnitude, duration, orientation and permanence of the

effect. Acting in response to these individual differences and the inability to

generalize about stressors across individuals, settings, and events, researchers

turned their attention to why there were such differences in the responses under

seemingly similar situations.

Current models of stress have maintained that stress is not intrinsic to the

individual or the situation, but rather is a transaction between the two. McGrath

(1970a) proposed that stress was the transaction between the organism and its








environment. He compared the social-psychological concept of stress with that of

an engineer. In the field of engineering, McGrath noted that stress was the

"application of an external force, while the strain it produced was calculated in

terms of the substance to which the force was applied" (p. 14). In regard to

humans, the stress-strain effect was in relationship to the individual and his or

her environment. Stress was not viewed solely as an individual's emotional state,

but rather as his or her type of reaction to environmental events. Environmental

changes would lead to the perception of threat for some individuals; however,

changes in the environment would not necessarily lead to threat.

While the stress-strain relationship could be borrowed from the field of

engineering, there were certain differences between the engineer's use and that

of the social-psychological use. For instance, the engineer had the ability to

calibrate the forces of stress. In addition, the engineer was able to measure the

impact of the environmental stressful forces. Likewise, the engineer merely dealt

with the internal conditions of the object, rather than having the added effect of

the perceptions of threat of the strain on the object.

McGrath (1970b) expanded his early proposition, noting that stress

existed when there was an imbalance between the environmental demands and

the response capability of the individual or organism. Folkman, Lazarus, Dunkel-

Schetter, DeLongis, and Gruen (1986) recognized that the stress process begins

with some sort of demand, which ultimately requires adaptation on the part of the

person. This adaptation process commences with the individual's awareness of

the actual demands. This initial awareness is followed by an appraisal of the








severity and importance of the demand for the individual, or whether he or she

has anything at stake in this encounter. The bidirectional relationship between

the person and the environment is appraised by the person as either taxing or

exceeding his or her resources. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) asserted that

perceived or psychological stress would only be produced by environmental

demands if the individual anticipated his or her inability to cope with the demand

adequately. In contrast, demands were not perceived as stressors or threatening

if the individual perceived him- or herself as being capable to handle the

demands without undue expenditure of resources (whether or not this perception

was true). This imbalance in demand-incapability was viewed as the prerequisite

for psychological stress or the threat of it (McGrath, 1970b).

Sells (1970) also conveyed that stress arose when the individual was

called upon to respond to a situation in which he or she did not have the

adequate response available. This unavailability may have been due to physical

inadequacy, absence of the response in the individual's repertoire of responses,

or lack of training, equipment, or opportunity to prepare. Likewise, stress

occurred when the consequences of this inability to respond appropriately were

particularly important to the individual. The intensity of the stress was also

dependent upon the importance of the individual's involvement and the

individual's assessment of the consequences for being unable to respond

effectively to the situation. Various personality characteristics also helped to

define whether an individual would identify the stressful transaction as having

relevance to his or her well-being, including his or her values, commitments,








goals, and beliefs about himself. Folkman et al. (1986) referred to the individual's

evaluation of the relevance of a situation as primary appraisal.

This primary appraisal is followed by the individual's secondary appraisal.

The latter appraisal pertained to the individual's evaluation of the adequacy of the

resources possessed for coping with the demand. If the individual's resources

seemed adequate for coping with the demand, the demand would be dealt with in

a positive, healthy manner. In contrast, when there was an imbalance between

the perceived demands and the individual's perceived resources, stress resulted

(Matheny, Aycock, & McCarthy, 1993).

The assumption that individuals actively respond to forces impinging upon

them has been a change in thought from earlier research in which individuals

were considered to be passive recipients in the stress and strain process

(Lazarus, 1991). Although coping has taken on a variety of conceptual meanings,

it has been referred to as the "things that people do to avoid being harmed by

life-strains" (Pearlin & Schooler, 1978, p. 2). Expanding on the definition of

coping, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) later referred to coping as the process, or

varying cognitive and behavioral efforts, an individual utilizes to regulate internal

and external demands. Most importantly, these demands are viewed as having

the potential to drain or exceed the individual's resources. With this definition of

coping in mind, Pearlin and Schooler emphasized the importance of studying

coping in the context of the challenges in which individuals encounter them and

the potential emotional impact or distress of these challenges.








The behaviors, responses, and efforts in the coping process that help

protect individuals from being psychologically harmed by challenging

experiences are said to mediate the impact that the environment has on the

individual. In order to understand the construct of coping as a mediator, it is

important to outline the various dimensions. In the broad sense, coping refers to

any response to external life-strains (i.e., conflicts, frustrations, threats) that

function to impede, circumvent, or control emotional distress. Under the broad

definition of coping, coping responses are distinguished from coping resources.

Coping responses are the specific perceptions, cognitions, and behaviors a

person uses when actually contending with and adjusting to personal life

stressors (Lepore & Evans, 1996; Pearlin & Schooler, 1978). Such coping

responses function to change the situation from which a life-strain arises, to

control the meaning of the life-strain after it occurs but before stress emerges, or,

finally, to control the emergent stress itself (Pearlin & Schooler, 1978).

Although coping responses represent the things that individuals do in

order to deal with the stressors they encounter, coping resources, on the other

hand, refer to what is available specific to the individual's coping repertoire

(Lepore & Evans, 1996; Pearlin & Schooler, 1978). The efforts an individual

undertakes prior to a particular stressor, involving the accumulation of resources

and the acquisition of skills, has been called proactive coping (Aspinwall &

Taylor, 1997).

Just as various definitions of stress and coping have been noted, various

definitions of coping resources exist. In their study of stress coping, Matheny,








Aycock, Pugh, Curlette, and Silva Cannella (1986) defined coping resources as

the properties, or characteristics, an individual possesses or utilizes to minimize

the probability that demands will be perceived as stressors, as well as increase

the effectiveness of the individual's coping behaviors. In their meta-analysis of

the experimental and non-experimental studies of stress coping, Matheny et al.

proposed an integrative model of stress and coping that included both efforts to

combat and to prevent stress. These researchers attempted to provide a

taxonomy of the specific coping behaviors and resources found to be most useful

in combating and preventing the stress response. Strategies to deal with

encountered stressors, the resulting stress response, and one's reactions to the

stressors were called combative coping. In contrast, preventive coping referred to

the strategies aimed at the prevention of demands being perceived as stressors,

as well as the strategies that were to increase the individual's resistance to the

effects of stress. The taxonomy proposed by Matheny et al. also incorporated

coping behaviors and coping resources. Coping behaviors were defined as the

actions taken to manage the stressors that individuals encountered and their

reaction to them. Coping resources were described as conditions or

characteristics that decreased the chance that demands would be perceived as

stressors and that increased the effectiveness of coping behaviors.

Subsequently, Matheny et al. emphasized the importance of preventive

measures.

McCarthy, Lambert, and Brack (1997) have suggested that preventive

coping resources may allow an individual to control or modify the nature of daily








stressors or demands encountered, the individual's perceptions about these

stressors or demands once they have been encountered, and the individual's

assessment of the ability to handle the demands. Expanding upon the work of

Lazarus and Folkman, as well as Matheny's research, McCarthy, Lambert,

Beard, and Dematatis (2001) proposed a model of prevention relative to stress

and coping, that depicts the integration of the transactional model of the stress

process and the role of preventive coping resources. This model (as shown in

Figure 1-1) helps to clarify the hypothesized influence of preventive coping

resources on potentially stressful events. Within Figure 1-1, McCarthy et al.

identified the points at which preventive resources were surmised to influence

potentially stressful events, as noted by the dashed lines. Specifically, these

researchers have suggested that preventive coping resources may allow one to

regulate or adapt the nature of daily stressors or demands encountered

(displayed by the dashed line from preventive coping resources to life events). In

addition, McCarthy et al. suggest that preventive coping resources may allow for

the altering of the perceptions an individual has about demands once such

demands are encountered (noted with a dashed line from preventive coping

resources to awareness of demands). Thirdly, preventive coping resources may

allow one to modify the appraisal of the individual's ability to handle the demands

(represented with a dashed line from preventive coping resources to appraisal).

McCarthy et al. (2001) describe demands as stressors imposed upon an

individual by other individuals or by oneself. Such demands may derive from life

changes, role requirements, daily hassles, or self-imposed obligations. As








depicted in Figure 1-1, the preventive coping resources one possesses may

influence an individual's awareness of the demands. Specifically, McCarthy and

Lambert (1999) found that individuals possessing sufficient levels of preventive

coping resources may interpret demands as less threatening, thus avoiding the

stress response in general.

Next, the awareness of a demand is followed by an appraisal of its

potential threat, as described earlier in the research by Folkman et al. (1979).

Within Figure 1-1, primary appraisals are directed towards demands, while

secondary appraisals are directed towards coping resources. Matheny et al.

(1986) proposed that within the primary appraisal process, demands would be

viewed as challenges that energized the person to optimal functioning, if the

individual's secondary appraisal of their coping resources was roughly equivalent

to or greater than the nature of the demand (shown as R>D in Figure 1-1).

In contrast, if the perceived demands exceeded the resources available in the

individual's secondary appraisal (R
in motion the stress response.

Finally, Figure 1-1 helps to visually distinguish between preventive coping

resources and those that are combative. Matheny et al. described combative

coping resources as those that are drawn upon to alter or diminish a stressor

once it has already happened or been experienced. Combative strategies have

been further delineated by Folkman et al. (1986) as either problem-focused or

emotion-focused. The former strategies focus on the stressor itself, altering the

person-environment relationship, and are considered active strategies. In








contrast, emotion-focused strategies aim at diminishing the individual's reaction

to the stressor or their stress response (as noted in Figure 1-1). In summary,

McCarthy's model attempts to demonstrate the importance of preventive coping

resources as means of minimizing negative events and concerns, in the

interpretation of demands so as to minimize the stress response, and in the

individual's perception of the ability to control demands by taking proactive steps.

Preventive Combative
Coping 4- Prevention Coping Resources Resilience Coping
Resources Resources


-- Secondary Appraisal Problem Focused Emotion Focused
S n ApriCoping Strategies Coping Strategies


Awareness Appraisal R of Demands Response
R


Life Events Primary Appraisal
role chansrequirements, Challenge Optimal
Hassles) > Functioning


Figure 1-1. Hypothesized model of prevention in stress and coping. (McCarthy
et al., 2001)

Studies have addressed to a limited degree what the sources of stress are

for principals and to a lesser degree what their coping strategies are once stress

is perceived or experienced. However, the role of prevention in coping has been

neglected. Additional studies are needed to identify the relationships among

principal characteristics, school demographic variables, the preventive coping

resources possessed and used by public school principals, as well as the

relationship between these preventive coping resources and principals' stress








levels. As the study of the construct of preventive coping resources has only

begun, additional research is needed to determine this construct's potential as a

mediating variable in relation to administrator stress levels. Subsequently, Figure

1-2 depicts the conceptual model for this study. Solid lines represent points in the

model where preventive coping resources might be most relevant in accounting

for the relation between the antecedent variables and the outcome variables.

More specifically, in an effort to investigate the extent to which preventive

coping resources may account for differences in principals' stress levels, this

study was guided by a mediational model proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986).

Within the model, "a given variable may be said to function as a mediator to the

extent that it accounts for the relation between the predictor and the criterion"

(p. 1176). Specifically, a variable functions as a mediator when the following

conditions occur: (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive

relationships or associations with the presumed mediator, (b) variations in the

mediator account for variations in the outcome variable, and (c) the antecedent

variables are associated with the outcome variable. If these three conditions are

demonstrated in the predicted direction, then when the mediator is added, any

previous association between the antecedent and outcome variables is no longer

significant. Mediation is considered to be strongest when there is no longer any

relationship between the antecedent and outcome variables.











>^ u ANTECEDENT VARIABLES
SPrincipal Characteristics
( Gender (xi) \
Years of experience as a principal (x2)
Number of hours worked per week (x3)





MEDIATING VARIABLE .. OUTCOME VARIABLE
Preventive Coping Resources (yi) Administrative Stress Index (y2)





ANTECEDENT VARIABLES
/ School Demographics
{ ,*District enrollment group (x4),'
,School level (elementary, middle/jr., high) (x5)
SSchool enrollment (x6)


Figure 1-2. Conceptual model of principal characteristics, school
demographics, preventive coping resources, and stress.


In this study, preventive coping resources were believed to function as a

means (the mediator) through which the principal characteristics and the school

demographic variables (the antecedent variables), were able to influence

principals' stress levels (the outcome variable). Using the model depicted in

Figure 1-2, principals' preventive coping resources were tested as a mediator.

The hypotheses for this study were constructed to test the three conditions for

mediation, with the subsequent analyses following the procedural steps outlined

by Baron and Kenny.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among

principal characteristics, school demographic variables, and the preventive








coping resources of principals in relation to their level of stress. The following

section delineates the specific questions, hypotheses, and model that guided this

research project.

Question 1

What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in

Florida?

Question 2

What are the current preventive coping resources of public school

principals in Florida?

Hypothesis 1

Principal characteristics (i.e., gender, years of experience as a principal,

and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables

(district enrollment, school level, and school enrollment) are related to principals'

preventive coping resources.

Hypothesis 2

Principals' preventive coping resources are related to their stress levels,

with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and

variety of preventive coping resources.

Hypothesis 3

Principals' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between

principal characteristics (i.e., gender, number of years of experience as a

principal, number of hours worked per week), school demographic variables








(i.e., district enrollment group, school level, and school enrollment), and

principals' stress levels.

Questions 1 and 2 provided descriptions of the various sources of stress

reported by principals and the preventive coping resources principals utilize.

Hypotheses 1 through 3 involved the steps recommended by Baron and Kenny

when testing for mediation. Specifically, Hypothesis 1 addressed step one of the

model, regressing the mediating variable on the two sets of antecedent variables.

Hypothesis 2 addressed the second step of the model, regressing the outcome

variable on the mediating variable. Finally, Hypothesis 3 addressed step three of

the model, regressing the outcome variable on both the antecedent and

mediating variables.

Glossary of Terms

This section includes the definitions of the terms that were used in this

study.

Coping is the process, or varying cognitive and behavioral efforts, an

individual utilizes to regulate internal and external demands viewed as having the

potential to drain or exceed the individual's resources for dealing with these

demands (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).

Coping resources are the prerequisites or characteristics an individual

possesses or utilizes in order to minimize the probability that demands will be

perceived as stressors and that increase the effectiveness of the individual's

coping behaviors (Matheny, Aycock, Pugh, Curlette, & Cannella, 1986).

Enrollment groups are defined by the Florida Department of Education

based on the enrollment of students within the districts. Small districts are








defined as those districts with less than 7,000 students. Medium/Small districts

have between 7,000 and 19,999 students. Medium districts are defined as having

20,000 to 39,999 students. Large districts enroll 40,000 to 100,000 students.

Lastly, Very Large districts are defined as having greater than 100,000 students

enrolled (Florida Department of Education, 2001).

Preventive coping resources are the individual's assets or capabilities that

allow them to control or modify the demands they encounter, the perceptions

they have about these demands once they are encountered, as well as their

appraisal of their ability to handle the demands (McCarthy, Lambert, Beard,

& Dematatis, 2001).

Principals are the primary building level administrators on a school

campus charged with the responsibilities of efficient and effective operation of the

school, as well as the provision of instructional programs focused on student

learning (NAESP, 1997, 2001).

School enrollment is the number of full time equivalent students (FTE)

reported to the Florida Department of Education.

School levels denote whether the school is an elementary, middle/junior,

high school, or combination of levels.

Stress refers to the relationship between an individual and the

environment that is appraised as draining one's resources, as well as the

individual's physiological and psychological adjustments to the stressors

(Lazarus & Foikman, 1984; McCarthy, Lambert, & Brack, 1997).








Stressors are the various situations, events, and thoughts that elicit the

stress response (McCarthy, Lambert, & Brack, 1997).

Significance of the Study

Despite what is known about the varied and multiple roles and demands

on principals, and resultant stress, the presumed influence of preventive coping

resources on administrative stress has not been explored. Although a multitude

of research has been conducted relevant to stress, far less research has been

devoted to the study of coping resources, with significantly less attention to

preventive coping. In 2002, an electronic browse using PsycINFO of all items

relevant to the keyword "stress" showed 66,948 entries. In contrast, 27,855 items

were found relevant to the keyword "coping." As the search narrowed more

specifically to "coping resources," the available literature reduced significantly to

2,007 entries. Finally, with entries specific to the keywords "preventive coping

resources," the search narrowed to 32 items.

Given the directives for accountability standards, opportunities for school

choice, principals' changing role demands, and increasing task expectations for

principals, additional research is imperative. Strategies offered to principals for

the management of their stress have typically overlooked the potential role of

preventive coping resources for controlling or modifying principals' perceptions of

their ability to handle such demands. Further research is needed to describe the

preventive coping resources currently used by principals, to summarize the

current sources of stress for public school principals in Florida, and to extend

what is known about the association between preventive coping resources and

stress. In addition, findings of the study may contribute to the knowledge base








relative to the continued success of principals in their ability to deal with

potentially stressing or demanding situations in the principalship.

Specifically, researchers have not investigated the preventive coping

resources and stressors of public school principals in Florida. Nor has the

relationship between personal characteristics and environmental variables on

principals' preventive coping resources and stressors been investigated.

Specifically, the association between various preventive coping resources and

school principals' stress levels, when controlling for the effects of various

principal characteristics and school demographic variables warrants further

study. In addition, the possible mediational role of preventive coping resources,

relative to stress, was investigated in this study. In view of the increasing roles,

task expectations, and demands being placed on public school principals today,

findings from this study described the preventive coping resources possessed

and utilized by public school principals in Florida. The relationships between

these preventive coping resources and administrator stress levels were

analyzed. In addition, this study provided a rationale for the need for further

development of preventive coping resources in principals and provided

implications for further research in this area. Results of the study added to the

body of knowledge relative to principal selection, assignment, and retention;

suggested areas of administrative support; as well as further professional

development activities.








Delimitations and Limitations of the Study

This section identifies the delimitations and limitations for this study.

Delimitations

1. The study was conducted in school districts in Florida. Results were
not generalized to other states or areas in the United States.

2. The data were collected from public school principals. Therefore, no
generalizations from the study were made to other educational
administrators.

3. Although attention and effort were directed to assuring that the sample
of principals for the current study was representative of the population
of public school principals, conclusions and inferences drawn were
generalized to the total population of school principals.

4. The study was limited to data gathered during the 2001-2002 school
year. Therefore, conclusions and inferences made from this study were
not generalized to other time periods.

5. For the purposes of this study, public school principals' stress and
stressors were operationally defined using the Administrative Stress
Index. Bearing in mind that different definitions of stress and stressors
exist, caution should continue to be used when comparing the results
of this study to other studies that utilize different definitions for
investigating stress and stressors.

6. Preventive coping resources were operationally defined and assessed
using the Preventive Resources Inventory. As different models of
coping and definitions of coping resources exist, construct validity was
considered a justifiable consideration. Likewise, caution should be
used when comparing the results of this study to other studies that
utilize different models for investigating an individual's coping
resources.

7. Caution is warranted in inferring causal relations from this non-
experimental, correlation-based study obtained through the use of self-
report measures.

Limitations

This section includes the limitations that were recognized within this study.

1. The limitations of self-report procedures and surveys, as noted by
Wallen and Fraenkel (2001); Burns (2000); Gall, Borg, and Gall (1996);








Judd, Smith, and Kidder (1991), were kept in mind when the results
and interpretations were noted.

2. The assumption was made that the principals had common
understandings of the terminology in the Administrative Stress Index
and the Preventive Resources Inventory.

3. The assumption was made that the principal respondents accurately
responded on the self-rating of their coping resources, stressors, and
stress levels.

Organization of the Remainder of the Study

This chapter has provided an introduction of the study, statement of the

problem, purpose of the study, glossary of terms, delimitations and limitations of

the study, and the significance of the study. Chapter 2 contains a detailed review

of the literature pertaining to the current theories related to stress and current

models of coping. Chapter 3 presents an overview of the methodology and

design that were utilized to study the research questions. In Chapter 4, the

results of the data analyses are presented. Lastly, the researcher provides a

discussion of the results and conclusions of the study, implications for the

educational field, and suggestions for future research in Chapter 5.













CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Chapter 1 provided an overview of the study, including a statement of the

problem, the significance of the study, the research questions, and the intended

purpose. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship

between principal characteristics, school demographic variables, and the

preventive coping resources of principals in relation to their overall level of stress.

Chapter 2 provides a review of the literature: an introduction to the literature on

stress and coping, an overview of the historical models of stress, and the

components of current models of stress. Likewise, the stress, appraisal, and

coping process is delineated. Finally, reviews of the literature relevant to the

principalship and stress in the workplace, coping, and coping resources are

offered.

Introduction to Stress and Coping

Within the engineering discipline, a force (or load) is applied to an object,

creating stress (or the way the load impinges on the object). This stress then

results in strain (or the resulting deformation of the object). Of particular interest

to the engineer in the analysis of inputs and outputs is the elasticity of materials,

with materials resisting deformation until they break. This tension or strain in the

physical object, noted by the engineer, has been compared with stress in living

beings. Stress creates a biological disequilibrium which drives physiological and

behavioral efforts to restore the disturbed disequilibrium. Further research and








analyses through the years have shown that just as some materials resist

breaking because of their elasticity, some individuals also resist psychic distress

and dysfunction because of high stress tolerances.

This simple input-output engineering model has centered on what the

environment or stimulus does to an object, with a parallel drawn between the

inanimate objects and passive living creatures (Lazarus, 1991). However, the

original 17th century engineering model of stress and strain was limited in its

scope. For example, it failed to consider what the individual might actively do to

contribute to the outcome, one's motivation, and the way in which the individual

defined and evaluated relationships in the environment. The more accurate

model considers this active role of the individual.

The progression in research has resulted in a shift in thinking from an

earlier stimulus-response formulation to one that is more subjective,

transactional, and process oriented. With this shift, Lazarus (1991) surmised that

individuals engage in an appraisal process, evaluating the significance of what is

happening. Rather than a passive recipient in transactions, Lazarus postulated

that the individual is an active agent in transactions that have personal relevance.

This process of appraisal is reportedly influenced by both environmental and

personality variables. Within Lazarus's transactional model of stress, primary

appraisal refers to whether what is happening is personally relevant to the

individual; whereas secondary appraisal refers to the individual's coping options.

Lazarus has concluded that actual, anticipated, or imagined challenges requiring

some adaptation within an individual's environment are appraised by the








individual as being of either positive or negative significance. The nature and

intensity of an individual's emotions or responses were, subsequently, the results

of the individual's appraisal to these challenges.

Lazarus (1991) added that the quality and intensity of an individual's

emotional responses depended on the coping process. Coping has been defined

as the individual's "cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external

and internal demands (and conflicts between them) that are appraised as taxing

or exceeding the resources of the person" (Lazarus, p. 112). In brief, the coping

process refers to what one thinks and does to alter the challenging person-

environment relationship. It is this coping process that ultimately changes either

the relationship, or the evaluation of the significance of what is happening or the

way the situation is appraised, thus changing the individual's resultant emotions.

The Concept of Stress

Stress has been associated with all types of activity. The term "stress"

continues to mean different things to different individuals, with the connotation

generally being negative. It is difficult to define in light of these different

interpretations, as well as the fact that it is an abstract construct, rather than a

tangible object. Yet, despite these differences and difficulties in defining the

construct, it is one that is used daily in our vocabulary. For the purposes of this

study, stress will be defined as "the body's physiological and psychological

adjustments to stressors" (McCarthy, Lambert, & Brack, 1997, p. 54). Likewise,

demands will refer to "requirements imposed either by oneself or others"








(McCarthy et al., p. 54). Stressors will refer to the "wide array of situations,

events, and thoughts that trigger the stress response" (McCarthy et al., p. 54).

Activity associated with stress may be viewed as pleasant or unpleasant,

though something that should not necessarily be avoided. In fact, Selye (1974)

stated that "complete freedom from stress is death" (p. 32). Although stress

generally has a negative connotation, it was noted as early as 1908 through the

work of Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, that stress can have positive, healthy

effects on an individual's performance. The positive, constructive outcome of

stressful events and the stress response was termed "eustress" (Quick, Quick,

Nelson, & Hurrell, 1997, p. 4). Yerkes and Dodson noted that an individual's

performance rose with increasing stress to a certain point. However, when the

stress load became too great, the individual's performance then decreased. This

relationship between stress load and individual performance became known as

the Yerkes-Dodson Law and is generally depicted by an inverted "U." It was

further asserted that the stress load would vary and be individual to each person

dependent upon individual and task factors. Considerations for the individual

included one's physical capacity, susceptibility to stress, fatigue level, as well as

psychological and cognitive skills. Considerations related to the task included

complexity, duration, difficulty, intensity, as well as knowledge and experience

with the task. Situations or tasks that provoked little stress or arousal often did

not impel performance, whereas situations or tasks that were too stressful or

complex impeded performance.








The contributing factor commonly viewed in the quickening of the strain is

the previously described "distress" or unhealthy stress and stress response. This

factor likewise contributes to departure from healthy functioning and to

physiological, psychological, and behavioral disorders. This individual distress

and strain, in turn, have implications for organizations. Commonly expressed

directly or indirectly, responses are absenteeism, tardiness, turnover, poor

performance on the job, health care costs, low morale or motivation,

communication breakdowns, faulty decision making, or poor working

relationships (Quick et al., 1997).

Historical Models of Stress

Research related to stress has evolved through the years, focusing initially

on the physical, medical and physiological aspects, noted in Hooke's, Selye's

and Cannon's work; and elaborating later on the psychological aspects of the

stress concept. This research has generally fallen into two categories:

(a) physiological, coined by Selye, in which stress was defined as the reaction of

the organism to some sort of external threat; and (b) transactional, in which

stress was defined as the "outcome of interactions between the organism and the

environment" (Singer & Davidson, 1984, p. 48).

The earliest definitions of stress were either stimulus- or response-based.

Stimulus definitions emphasized the events in the environment and assumed that

certain situations were stressful for all individuals. No distinction was made in the

stimulus-based definition to the role of individual differences in the evaluation of

these events. On the other hand, response definitions referred to the individual's








state of being stressed. The individual's response to a stimulus was considered

to be stressful if it was produced by a demand, threat, harm, or load (Lazarus &

Folkman, 1984).

French physiologist Claude Bernard first noted during the second half of

the 19th century that a living organism must remain fairly constant despite

changes in its external environment if it is to remain healthy and survive.

Similarly, Walter B. Cannon suggested that the physiological processes should

remain static or in a state of homeostasiss" (Selye, 1974). Cannon was

particularly interested in the relationship between emotional and psychological

states and physiological responses. While working with laboratory animals in

1915, Cannon hypothesized that under stressful situations there were

psychophysiological activities that were occurring, designated as the "emergency

reaction." Although the research by Yerkes and Dodson, related to stress load

and optimal performance, preceded the identification of the stress response, it

was Cannon's discoveries in 1932 that set the stage for the fight-or-flight

response, as well as the implication that the degree of stress could be measured

(Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Quick et al., 1997).

Following Cannon's work, Selye began investigating the effects of

environmental stress on humans and other animals in 1932. It was his work that

played a prominent role in an expanded interest in the study of stress. Selye

(1974) defined stress as "the nonspecific response of the body to any demand

made upon it" (p. 27). In order to aid understanding of stress, Selye distinguished

between specific and nonspecific responses. Specific responses referred to the








unique actions one's body underwent as a result of a demand. For instance, the

blood vessels in the skin would contract to diminish the loss of heat from the

body surface when the body was exposed to cold. Similarly, our bodies perspire

when exposed to heat, creating a cooling effect when this sweat evaporated from

the skin surface. Selye also noted that when exposed to an agent, situation, or

demand, there were not only resultant specific actions, but also increases in

nonspecific actions. These nonspecific actions helped us adapt and return to a

sense of normalcy following the predictable specific bodily responses. This latter

demand for action or activity was viewed as the core of stress. It was the

intensity of the demand for readjustment or adaptation on the body that mattered,

rather than whether the situation or demand was viewed as pleasant or

unpleasant.

Selye's research provided the first evidence of the body's limited

adaptability and ability to withstand stressors. He was able to identify specific

physiological indicators of stress, including adrenal enlargement, thymus atrophy

or shrinkage, and gastrointestinal ulcers. Selye's laboratory studies in 1936

showed that rats underwent a stereotyped response or organ changes when

exposed to various adverse stimuli. This response included the enlargement and

hyperactivity of the adrenal cortex, shrinkage of the thymus gland and lymph

nodes, and the appearance of gastrointestinal ulcers. Ultimately, Selye's animal

experiments delineating the similarities in the changes when under stress

became known as the "general adaptation syndrome" (G.A.S.) or the biological








stress syndrome. This syndrome consisted of three phases: (1) the alarm

reaction; (2) the stage of resistance; and (3) the stage of exhaustion

(Selye, p. 38). During the alarm reaction, the body showed changes consistent

with those evidenced when first exposed to a stressor. The body's resistance

may be diminished, and if the stressor was particularly strong, death may have

occurred. In the second stage, or the stage of resistance, resistance arose if the

individual's means of adaptation were compatible with the stressor. The bodily

signs that first appeared during the alarm reaction had disappeared, and

resistance rose above normal. However, if the body continued to be exposed to

the same stressor, despite having become adjusted to it initially, eventually the

adaptation energy was exhausted with the signs of the alarm reaction

reappearing. This time, however, the body changes were irreversible and the

individual died. Selye compared the three stages to that of the stages in life:

childhood, characterized by low resistance and excessive responses to any kind

of stimuli; adulthood, in which adaptation to most situations has occurred and

resistance increases; and finally senility, characterized by one's exhaustion, by

irreversible loss of adaptability, exhaustion, and by the individual's eventual

death.

It was the discovery of the G.A.S. three-phase response pattern that gave

evidence of the limitations of the body's adaptability or adaptation energy. That

is, stressors could only be withstood for so long. Selye noted that "just as any

inanimate machine gradually wears out, even if it has enough fuel, so does the

human machine sooner or later become the victim of constant wear and tear"








(p. 39). Singer and Davidson (1984) expanded on Selye's work, noting that

Selye's model of nonspecificity implied that the effects of stress were cumulative.

This meant that each incident of stress left traces of the effects that built up as

one was exposed to other stressors. This residue was not considered to present

a challenge to the individual, except in those situations when the stressor

continued or the individual's adaptive abilities were low.

Stress and Coping: Current Perspectives

World War II propelled further theories and research on stress. In

particular, the military were interested in the effects of stress on individuals'

ability to function during combat. Specifically, the military hypothesized that if

soldiers were more vulnerable to injury and death, as a result of stress, then, the

entire combat group's potential efficacy in action would be diminished. Again,

during the Korean War, new studies were directed at the effects of stress on

physiological changes and skilled performance. Emphasis was placed on

selecting less vulnerable combat personnel and in the development of

interventions to help military personnel function more effectively under stress.

Finally, the psychological and physiological effects of combat stress were studied

during the Vietnam War (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).

Cannon's and Selye's work had influenced the studies of combat stress,

focusing primarily on the physiological and medical aspects of stress and the

stress response. The interest in the effects of stress on individuals had been

stimulated by World War II and the Korean War. It was apparent that individuals'

performance under stress was not uniformly impaired or facilitated. Rather,








individuals' performances became more varied with stress, some doing better

and others doing worse with stress. It became apparent to researchers that the

prediction of an individual's performance while under stress required much

attention to the psychological processes that created the individual differences in

their responses. As a result, researchers shifted their attention toward the

relationship between the person and the environment, or the person factors and

the processes intervening between the stressor and the individual responses.

Studies began investigating stress-related processes, rather than individuals'

performance when under stress. Beginning in the 1960s, the role of coping in

stress adaptation began to grow (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Researchers began

looking at the psychological aspects of stress, life events, and their connection to

stress; searching for answers as to why individual differences were noted under

similar situations (Quick et al., 1997).

Having recognized the active role of the individual in response to stress,

Kahn (1970) studied stress in terms of both individuals and organizations, seeing

both as objects of stress and as active responders to stress. Kahn noted that the

stress response was a sequence of events, beginning in the environment. First

there was some sort of demand which the environment placed upon either the

individual or organization. Secondly, this demand was received by or recognized

by the individual or organization. The individual or organization's immediate

response to this demand varied behaviorally, emotionally, effectively, and

physiologically. Kahn surmised that such immediate responses were to be

distinguished from the enduring, or long-term, consequences of the stress. With








this model, Kahn was particularly interested in whether individuals were able to

appraise accurately what was happening to them, as well as whether the

individual's capacities for dealing with future stress would be diminished, remain

the same, or be enhanced.

Stress. Appraisal, and Coping

Lazarus's early work on stress in the 1960s suggested that stress should

be viewed as an "organizing concept" in order to understand the various events

occurring within the adaptational process. Stress was described as a category of

variables and processes. As such, in the 1970s, readers began noting categories

of stress relating to environmental stress, occupational stress, physiological

stress, social stress, and stress reactions (Appley & Trumbull, 1984). Even

though certain environmental pressures and demands are likely to evoke stress

in a number of people, differences in the reactions and degree of reactions

amongst individuals and groups are also noted. In order to understand these

differences among individuals in seemingly similar conditions, researchers must

consider the cognitive processes that transpire between the challenge and the

reaction, as well as the factors that mediate the relationship between these two

(Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).

Psychological stress was referred to as the relationship between the

person and the environment. This relationship was appraised by the individual as

either damaging to their well-being, or, draining of their resources. Whether the

individual judged a particular person-environment relationship to be stressful or

not was contingent upon cognitive appraisal. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have








described cognitive appraisal as an "evaluative process that determines why and

to what extent a particular transaction or series of transactions between the

person and environment is stressful" (p. 19). The significance of an experience

was evaluated in terms of its meaning to the individual's well-being.

Primary appraisal. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) distinguish between three

kinds of primary appraisals: (a) irrelevant, (b) benign-positive, and (c) stressful.

Irrelevant appraisals carry no implication for the individual's well-being. There is

nothing to be gained or lost in this type of transaction, as it does not affect the

individual's values, needs or commitments. Secondly, benign-positive appraisals

occur if the outcome of the occurrence is positive for the individual. Specifically,

benign-positive appraisals enhance or assure the improvement of an individual's

well-being. Finally, Lazarus and Folkman describe stress appraisals as those

involving some form of harm/loss, threat, or challenge. Within harm/loss stress

appraisals, some form of damage to the person has already occurred. For

instance, there may be a loss of a loved one or damage to the individual's self-

esteem. Threat stress appraisals relate to those losses that have not yet taken

place, yet are anticipated by the individual. This latter type of stress appraisal

allows for anticipatory coping on the part of the individual, distinguishing it from

harm/loss stress appraisals, where there is not the opportunity for anticipatory

coping. Threat appraisals are generally associated with negative emotions such

as anger, fear, or anxiety: The last form of stress appraisal, challenge, focuses

on the potential for gain or growth as a result of the encounter. Again, this type of








appraisal entails the mobilization of coping efforts. As opposed to threat stress

appraisals, however, challenges generally invoke pleasurable emotions.

Secondary appraisal. This appraisal activity is an essential component of

every stressful encounter, because the outcome of the encounter depends on

what is at stake, as well as what can be done. This evaluative process takes into

consideration which coping options are available, the likelihood that it will

accomplish what it is supposed to, and the likeliness that the individual can apply

the appropriate set of strategies effectively (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).

The individual's primary appraisal of what is personally at stake in the

encounter is combined with the secondary appraisal of the available coping

options. This complex interaction determines the degree of stress and the

strength and quality of the individual's emotional reactions. Lazarus and Folkman

(1984) have noted that if an individual has a high stake in the outcome of an

encounter or if the individual is helpless to deal with the demand, the level of

stress will be high because the harm/loss appraisal will not be prevented or

overcome. In all, the aforementioned appraisal process influences the coping

process, and in turn, how the individual reacts emotionally.

Reappraisal. A changed appraisal based on the gathering of new

information from the person or the environment is called reappraisal (Lazarus

& Folkman, 1984). This appraisal follows an initial appraisal. The changes in the

individual's appraisal may also stem from cognitive coping efforts. The latter

reappraisals are called defensive reappraisals and may be difficult to distinguish

from those reappraisals that are based on new information.








Related to the stress and appraisal process is the adequacy of an

individual's resources. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have noted that a deficit in

resources makes an individual psychologically sensitive to stress, if the deficit

refers to something that matters. An individual's vulnerability is described as a

potential threat that escalates to an active threat when something of value is put

in jeopardy. Specifically, it is the combination of the lack of resources as well as

the relationship between the individual's obligations and the matching

appropriation of resources that defines psychological vulnerability.

Person factors influencing the appraisal process. Lazarus and Folkman

(1984) have identified two characteristics that shape the appraisal process:

commitments and beliefs. The former expresses what is important to the

individual or what is at stake to the individual in a stressful encounter. The

relationship between the propensity for harm or threat is directly related to the

individual's level of commitment. The deeper the individual's level of

commitment, the greater the potential for threat or harm. Such commitments

shape the choices that individuals make or are prepared to make in order to

maintain highly valued goals or ideals. Specifically, individuals' commitments

guide them into or away from situations that may challenge, threaten, benefit or

harm them. On the other hand, the strength of the commitment may also urge the

individual to move toward some action that can reduce the threat or move them

toward greater coping efforts. In brief, as the strength of the commitment

increases, the individual becomes more vulnerable to psychological stress in that

area of commitment. Similarly, the degree to which the individual shows








commitment determines the amount of effort the person is willing to put forth to

ward off any potential threats to that commitment (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).

A second person factor influencing the appraisal process is beliefs

(Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). These preexisting fundamentals shape the

individual's understanding of what is and how things are in the appraisal process.

As beliefs are often taken for granted, their role in shaping the appraisal process

is generally unnoticed.

Situation factors influencing the appraisal process. Individual variations in

the extent that individuals appraise a situation as stressful relate to the

interrelationship between the aforementioned person factors and the following

situation factors. Specifically, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) considered novelty,

predictability, and event uncertainty to be situation factors influencing the

appraisal process. In addition, three temporal factors need to be considered:

imminence, duration, and temporal uncertainty.

Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have found that if a situation is completely

novel to an individual and has no negative psychological associations, it will not

result in a threat appraisal. Nor will the situation result in an appraisal of

challenge if it has not been connected with mastery or gain. In contrast, a novel

situation would be considered stressful if it was associated with previous threat,

danger, or harm. Predictability was found to be linked with the possibility of

anticipatory coping. However, a shift from predictable to unpredictable events

was considered to be highly stressful for people, with physiological changes

noted. Lazarus and Folkman found that not knowing whether an event was going








to occur, identified as unpredictability, created conflicting feelings and behaviors

in the appraisal process. This unpredictability sometimes led to feelings of

helplessness and confusion for the individual.

Temporal factors were also considered to be influential in the appraisal

process. Specifically, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) noted that the intensity of

appraisal increased as an event became more imminent. In contrast, less

imminent events were associated with more complex appraisal processes. With

more time to appraise the situation, individuals have the opportunity and tend to

think through and reappraise the encounter. The individuals have the choice to

reflect, avoid the problem, encompass a greater variety of coping resources, take

action, or make efforts to gain self-control. A second temporal factor to consider

is duration. This refers to the length of a stressful event. Lazarus and Folkman

assumed that chronic and lengthy stressors eventually wore down the individual,

both physiologically and psychologically. Finally, the research relative to the role

of temporal uncertainty is limited. However, the researchers contend that when

an individual knows when an event is to occur, their attention is directed to the

event, with less avoidant type coping demonstrated. This ultimately results in a

lower stress response. Finally, Lazarus and Folkman contend that when

information is less than clear or is insufficient, the situation is described as

ambiguous. Ambiguity can then be identified as a source of threat to the

individual due to the increased sense of helplessness over the possibility of

danger, threat, or harm.








Coping

Coping has been defined as "the process through which the individual

manages the demands of the person-environment relationship that are appraised

as stressful and the emotions they generate" (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 19).

Folkman, Schaefer, and Lazarus (1979) noted that within the coping process, the

individual would try to alter the person-environment relationship through problem-

solving, or, regulate their reaction to the stress. For the most part, individuals

tend to be effective in their coping process across various circumstances.

However, on occasion, individuals may not have the requisite skills to cope or will

have deficits that prevent the use of effective coping.

McGrath (1970a) observed that coping behavior may take place before,

during, or after the occurrence of a stress-inducing condition. Such coping

behaviors may be targeted toward preventing or removing the stressor, or toward

impeding or offsetting the consequences of that stress. McGrath (1970a) has

written that some kinds of coping behaviors appear before potentially

stress-inducing demands, rather than after. Anticipatory coping involves the

preparations for preventing or reducing the undesired consequences of the

stressing condition. In contrast, preventive coping involved the actions taken by

individuals that prevent the stress-inducing condition from occurring.

Some coping processes were action-centered and problem-focused,

changing the person-environment relationship. Other coping processes were

called emotion-focused or cognitive coping strategies, only intended to change

the way the relationship was interpreted or addressed. The latter processes








involved mainly thinking, rather than acting. Lazarus (1991) added that coping

strategies, whether problem-focused or emotion-focused, were associated with

improvement in the individual's emotional state from the beginning to the end of

the challenging encounter. As a result, negative emotions decreased, while

positive emotions increased. Most importantly, Lazarus viewed the appraisal and

coping process as influential in the subsequent appraisals and emotional

reactions for future events.

Pines and Aronson (1988) also found variations in individuals' coping

styles, with these styles differing in their effectiveness. In their study involving

147 participants, Pines and Aronson found that 20% of the participants took a

direct-active strategy when coping with stress. That is, these participants

confronted the source of stress, changed the source of stress or adopted a

positive attitude. In contrast, 20% of the participants took a direct-inactive coping

approach, either avoiding the sources of stress or doing nothing about them.

Forty-nine percent of the participants used a variety of indirect-active coping

techniques: talking about the stress, thinking about the stress, or getting involved

in other physical, religious, or relaxation activities. Finally, 11 % of the participants

utilized a variety of indirect-inactive coping styles, including worrying, crying,

drinking, eating, smoking, accepting the situation, or doing nothing.

In a second study involving eighty-four participants, Pines and Aronson

(1988) found that active coping styles were most frequently used and the most

successful to manage burnout, as they were more likely to change the source of

the stress. In contrast, inactive strategies were used less frequently and were the








least successful when countering burnout. Of importance in Pines and Aronson's

results, was the fact that the direct-inactive strategy of consciously ignoring the

source of stress was similar to active strategies to cope with the stress. The

researchers distinguished between ignoring or avoiding the stress and denial

about the stress. The former was noted to be a conscious decision by the

individuals to deal with the stress sooner or later; whereas with denial, the

individual perceives everything to be fine, bringing about later distress as a result

of the situation worsening.

The most appropriate coping styles for stressors that are identified as

continuous, situational, and changeable were found to be direct-active. Such

stressors constantly posed a threat to the individual and were viewed as

changeable. In contrast, Pines and Aronson assert that when the stressors or

demands are intermittent, yet changeable, an individual might use a direct-active

coping style or prefer to leave it or ignore it. When the source of stress is not

changeable and the stress is intermittent, a direct-active coping style is not

useful. Rather, the individual must seek intermittent relief to help them through

the peak periods of stress.

Presenting a particular challenge to individuals is immutable stress that is

continuous. Indirect-active strategies tend to be the most responsive. Indirect-

active strategies might include talking about the source of stress, changing

oneself, or getting involved in other activities. Such strategies are aimed at

closing the gap between the environmental demands and the individual's

capacity (Pines & Aronson, 1988). Finally, Pines and Aronson's research showed








that females tend to use indirect methods of coping more frequently (i.e., talking

about the stress, getting ill, and collapsing); whereas males tend to use direct

strategies of changing the sources of stress and ignoring the stress more often.

Coping Resources

Hobfoll (1989) defined psychological stress in terms of an individual's

perceived or actual loss of resources. He has conveyed that stress is produced

when there is a threat or actual loss of resources, as well as a lack of resource

gain after the individual has invested resources. Hobfoll asserted that an

understanding of stress is tied in with an individual's resources. Resources were

defined as "... objects, personal characteristics, conditions, or energies that are

valued by the individual or that serve as a means for attainment of these objects,

personal characteristics, conditions, or energies" (p. 516). Hobfoll proposed the

model of conservation of resources. Specifically, individuals attempt to minimize

the loss of resources when confronted with stress. It was noted that if the

individuals' expenditure of resources were greater than the coping benefits, the

outcome of the coping would be negative. In contrast, individuals attempt to build

their resources when they are not in stressful situations. The individual's building

of their resources would buffer them from future losses, as well as contribute to

the likelihood of goal attainment and positive feelings.

Hobfoll (1989) identified four types of resources which individuals strive to

enhance. The first type of resource was called object resources. These

resources meet individuals' basic physical needs and help the individual achieve

status. The second type of resource included conditions such as marriage, job








security, or seniority. The buffering effect on stress that this category brought

about was contingent upon the degree to which the individual valued these

states. Hobfoll's third group of resources related to personal characteristics.

This group of resources included positive self-regard, internal locus of control,

optimism, resourcefulness, self-efficacy, and mastery. Hobfoll's last group of

resources helped to facilitate the individual's acquisition of the other categories of

resources. He called this group, "energies." This latter group included money,

time, and knowledge. Hobfoll added that social support did not fit into any of the

aforementioned groups of resources. Rather, social relationships were viewed as

a resource only to the extent that they facilitated or provided the maintenance of

an individual's necessary resources. Social relationships could either be positive

or negative, contingent upon the quality and type of social support they provided.

Hobfoll added that it was not the number of relationships that has importance to

the individual, but rather that he or she has the presence of one or two intimate

relationships that protect against psychosocial and health risks.

Folkman, Schaefer, and Lazarus (1979) noted that coping resources

provide the basis for coping action. However, the potency of these resources is

contingent upon the individual's knowledge of their own resources and

understanding of their own use of these resources. Variations in a person's

coping resources are noted across time, as they expand and contract relative to

the individual's experience, degree of stress, time of life and the adaptation

requirements. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) explained further that the presence

of a resource at any given time does not mean that it will be available to the








person at another time. However, some resources were considered to be less

changing than others. Lazarus and Folkman provided the example that

individuals' general beliefs about their own efficacy tends to be relatively stable.

In addition, Lazarus and Folkman noted that each stressful encounter has its own

task demands. The individual's mere possession of resources did not necessarily

mean that the appropriate resource would be used at the appropriate time or in

the stressful encounter in which coping was required.

Six categories of coping resources were delineated by Lazarus and

Folkman (1984), including health and energy, positive beliefs, problem-solving

skills, social skills, social support, and material resources. Health and energy

resources are particularly necessary in enduring, chronic stressful conditions.

Lazarus and Folkman proposed that individuals' would have less energy to

expend on coping if they were sick, tired, or depressed. In contrast, healthy

individuals were more likely to endure stressful crisis situations. Individuals'

beliefs in themselves or their positive view of themselves were regarded as a

positive coping resource. Lazarus and Folkman surmised that general and

specific positive beliefs provided hope in situations, forming the basis of the

individual's positive coping efforts in challenging conditions. The individual's

generalized belief that situations were controllable helped provide answers to

questions about events and circumstances that were perceived to be threatening

or challenging. Next, Lazarus and Folkman described the category of problem

solving skills in terms of the individual's ability to work through specific problems

in generalized, abstract skills, as well as in their day-to-day activities. Social skills








were identified as important coping resources because of their role in helping

individuals problem solve with other individuals. Lazarus and Folkman asserted

that individuals were more likely to have greater control over social interactions

through the use of social skills. Similar to Hobfoll's previous notions regarding

social networks or social support, Lazarus and Folkman have noted that social

support systems can be a valuable coping resource. Finally, the last category of

coping resources was material resources. This category included money, tools,

training programs, and services. The overall benefit of this coping resource was

its capability of increasing the individual's coping options in other stressful

encounters. It was assumed that individuals with an abundance of utilitarian

resources generally handled stressful situations more positively than individuals

who lacked in this resource category.

Scheier and Carver (1993) have approached the notion of positive thinking

by expressing that the actions people take are considered to be influenced by

their expectations about the consequences of these actions. The researchers

add that positive expectations for the future are shaped by positive thinking.

Higher levels of optimism have been associated with more positive well-being

during times of stress. In particular, individuals with positive beliefs are able to

normalize their lifestyle, or adjust more quickly, following stressful events than

those with pessimistic beliefs. Scheier and Carver also associate optimism with

more effective problem-solving strategies, direct action, and focused efforts. In

addition, positive beliefs are associated with individuals' acceptance of reality

and the opportunity for personal growth during stressful situations. In contrast,








pessimists try to deny that stressful situations occur, generally dealing with them

through avoidance. Pessimistic beliefs are associated with tendencies to give up

more quickly.

The relative importance of various coping resources was investigated by

Holmes and Werbel (1992). In their longitudinal study of 186 individuals who had

recently lost their job and who were actively seeking reemployment, the

investigators hypothesized that individuals with greater coping resources would

be able to find new jobs more quickly than those with less coping resources.

Holmes and Werbel reported three significant findings relevant to the 67

individuals (or 36% of the sample) who found new jobs within three months of

their termination. First, participants who found employment were significantly

more internal in their locus of control. Similarly, the individuals in new

employment situations had scored significantly higher in their self-efficacy when

compared to those who remained unemployed. Thirdly, participants who found

new jobs had scored significantly higher in their problem-solving skills than those

participants that remained unemployed. In contrast, significant differences

between those individuals that found new employment and the unemployed were

not significantly demonstrated in their health, social skills, social support or

material resources. Overall, the individuals who were able to locate new

employment opportunities scored higher in their positive beliefs and problem-

solving skills, in comparison to those who remained unemployed.

In view of the association between stress and academic failure, the role of

coping resources has been studied with school-aged children and adolescents.








Relative to this role, Matheny, Aycock, and McCarthy (1993) have reported that

students frequently use a combination of coping strategies simultaneously in

order to combat the stressor and to manage their emotional responses to it. The

list of resources includes the following: (a) social support from family, friends, and

peers; (b) social skills (i.e., assertiveness and communication skills); (c) positive

thinking (i.e., self-talk); (d) self-esteem; (e) a sense of control; and

(f) problem-solving skills. In studies of students' responses to stressors and their

coping strategies, gender differences have been noted. Matheny et al. related

that females' predominant stressors relate to personal appearances and

difficulties in relationships. In contrast, males' greatest sources of stress related

to apprehension about the possibility of failing grades and concerns about

vocational adjustment. Overall, females perceived more life demands than

males. By the same token, females relied heavily upon social support, as well as

used a broader range of coping strategies than did males.

Demands in the Principalship

Research has consistently demonstrated the fact that strong instructional

leadership is a key to effective schools. However, Lyons (1990) has reported that

principals face major sources of stress in carrying out their duties and

responsibilities. Specifically, principals may experience stress as a result of role

conflict. Such conflict may emanate when the principal is expected to accomplish

and carry out district goals, policies and directives that are in conflict with the

goals and expectations of staff members. At the same time, principals are

expected to be instructional leaders within their schools. However, Lyons








contends that the size, complexity and level of most secondary schools warrants

the majority of secondary school principals' time to be designated toward

administrative activities, numerous interruptions, and the enormous number of

daily interpersonal contacts. This paradox presents another source of stress for

principals. Conflicts between student and student, teacher and student, teacher

and teacher, teacher and parent, teacher and assistant principal, and teacher

and central office supervisors are not uncommon in the school setting.

Frequently, the effectiveness of principals is judged by their ability to resolve

such conflicts. The principal's challenge to be problem-solver and peacemaker

can be time-consuming and stressful, particularly with the knowledge that such

problems may be referred to the central office if they are not resolved.

Nonetheless, Bailey, Fillos, and Kelly (1987) reported that exemplary principals

exhibit fewer symptoms of stress than a standard set of principals, as measured

by general health patterns and general health patterns.

Relative to the multiple demands and sources of stress in the

principalship, Doud and Keller (1998) reported that 89% of the K-8 principals

surveyed, indicated that they work longer than the average 40 hour work week,

with 45 hours representing the mean for the principals' work week. In all, over

51% of the principals responded that they spend 10 or more hours per day at

school, reflecting an increase from nine as reported by Doud (1989). Two-thirds

of the principal respondents spend 8 or fewer hours per week in school-related

activities outside of the normal work day. This also represents an increase from

the mean of six hours reported by K-8 principals ten years earlier. Factors that








were noteworthy in terms of how much additional time was spent in the extra

curricular activities related to gender, community type, and the years of

experience. Female principals averaged eight additional hours per week on

activities outside of the school day, in comparison to their male counterparts who

averaged seven hours. Principals of schools in rural areas typically spent seven

hours per week in additional activities in comparison to principals in other

community settings. Lastly, principals with fewer than five years of experience

reported working more hours per week, in general, than principals with more

years of experience; however, they averaged one less hour per week in the

outside activities (Doud & Keller, 1998).

As previously noted by Doud (1989), female principals reported a higher

number of work hours in school-related activities. Similarly, a higher number of

work hours in school-related activities were noted by principals with less than 14

years of experience, those less than 50 years of age, those with more academic

preparation, principals of schools with pupil enrollments of 400 or less, and

principals in rural communities. In addition, principals with the least amount of

experience were more likely to spend the most amount of time at work each day.

Similarly, differences were noted between male principals and female principals,

with the former averaging nine hours per day and the latter averaging 10 hours

per day (Doud & Keller, 1998).

Doud and Keller's survey in 1998 also inquired about principals' current or

potential concerns in their schools. Seventy-two percent of the respondents

identified "fragmentation of time" as the most prevalent management issue. In








addition, over one-half of the respondents identified major concerns related to

student assessment/performance and students not performing up to their

potential. Instructional practices and curriculum development were also

recognized as major sources of concern by 46.1% and 44.6% of the

respondents, respectively. Relative to student issues, Doud and Keller reported

that 40% of the principal respondents noted management of student behavior as

a major concern. Professional development and the retraining of staff were noted

by approximately 50% of the respondents as a major concern and by 40% of the

respondents as a minor concern. Lastly, principal respondents identified two

major sources of concern relevant to stakeholder issues. Approximately 56% of

the principals who responded to the survey identified the assurance of the

necessary financial resources as a major concern; while approximately 41%

noted the level of parental participation as another source of major concern.

Principals and Stress

Brimm (1983) has contended that principals are besieged on a daily basis

with frequent interruptions and multiple spur-of-the-moment meetings. Although

the amount of stress resulting from these events may vary from principal to

principal, stress is considered to be an invariable factor in the life of even the

most organized principal. When individuals are exposed to high stress

environments, in which time demands are the norm, decisions have to be made

continually, and the individuals have minimal time to reflect; limited options are

available. McCabe and Schneiderman (1984) have offered the following courses

of action:








(a) accept the stress, (b) seek out periods of time away from the stressful

environment, and/or (c) restructure one's life to follow an alternative course. This

latter strategy may involve changing one's perceptions and behaviors relative to

the stressful environment.

Of particular importance to the field of research specific to principals and

stress, are Walter Gmelch and Boyd Swent. In 1984, these two researchers

conducted an exploratory survey of school administrators for the purpose of

identifying their perceptions of the major sources of stress within their jobs. The

sample for this action research project was drawn from approximately 1,855

administrators who were members of the Confederation of Oregon School

Administrators. Usable questionnaires were received from 1,156 administrators,

representing 354 elementary administrators, 397 junior high and high school

administrators, 151 superintendents or superintendent/principals, 254 assistant

superintendent and central office staff, and 89 "others" (i.e., curriculum

directors, transportation supervisors, and athletic directors). The mean age within

the sample was 42, with 91% of the participants being male. The average

number of years of administrative experience was nine. The median number of

hours worked per week was 55. Of particular significance was the finding that

more than 60% of the participants attributed 75% of their total life stress to work.

Gmelch and Swent's instrument for their study was developed to measure

sources of administrators' job-related stress, with the intent of capturing all

relevant aspects of their job. From the resultant Administrative Stress Index,

Gmelch and Swent were able to identify the corresponding top ten stressors of








administrators, specific differences in sources of stress when compared by

administrative position, as well as differences in stressors by school level

(i.e., elementary, junior, and high). More specifically, the following corresponding

top ten stressors were identified: (1) complying with state, federal, and

organizational rules and policies; (2) feeling that meetings take up too much time;

(3) trying to complete reports and other paper work on time; (4) trying to gain

public approval and/or financial support for school programs; (5) trying to resolve

parent/school conflicts; (6) evaluating staff members' performance; (7) having to

make decisions that affect the lives of individual people that I know (colleagues,

staff members, students, etc.); (8) feeling that I have too heavy a work load, one

that I cannot possibly finish during the normal work day; (9) imposing excessively

high expectations on myself; and (10) being interrupted frequently by telephone

calls. Gmelch and Swent referred to the top 20% of the 35 items, or seven top

stressors as "high" stressors. Five of the top seven stressors were considered to

be significant beyond the .001 level. The following five were specifically cited as

statistically significant: (1) complying with rules, (2) gaining support, (3) school

conflict, (4) evaluating performance, and (5) making decisions (Gmelch & Chan,

1995; Gmelch & Swent, 1984).

Gmelch and Swent's study (1984) also revealed specific differences in

sources of stress when compared by administrative position (as depicted in

Table 2-1). Superintendents and assistant superintendents perceived more

stress from "complying with rules and policies" in comparison to other

administrative groups. Likewise, junior high vice/assistant principals perceived








Table 2-1

Rank and Mean Scores of Top Stressors by Administrative Position
as Reported by Gmelch and Swent (1984)


Stress Traps All Senior High Junior High Elementary
Administrators Principals Principals Principals

Complying with rules 1 1 1 1
and regulations (3.34) (3.37) (3.51) (3.26)
Attending meetings 2 2 2 2
(3.10) (3.31) (3.23) (3.14)
Completing paperwork 3 6 5 3
(2.99) (3.07) (3.02) (3.02)
Gaining public approval 4 3 10 5
(2.97) (3.18) (2.80) (2.92)
Resolving parent 5 5 4 6
conflicts (2.82) (3.10) (3.14) (2.84)
Evaluating staffs 6 4 3 4
performance (2.79) (3.16) (3.23) (2.95)
Affecting lives of people 7 8 6 7
(2.77) (2.99) (2.99) (2.80)
Too heavy work load 8 10 9 10
(2.72) (2.87) (2.81) (2.56)
Expectations on self 9 11 12 8
(2.70) (2.80) (2.69) (2.61)
Telephone interruptions 10 9 10 9
(2.67) (2.80) (2.80) (2.58)
Outside school 11 7 3 12
activities (2.67) (3.00) (2.86) (2.52)
Student discipline 12 15 7 11
(2.58) (2.56) (2.97) (2.54)


Total number of 1156 123 88 354
administrators in study



significantly more stress from "trying to resolve parent/school conflicts." A

noteworthy finding from Gmelch and Swent's study included the fact that junior

high principals perceived greater stress relative to the evaluation of staff








members in comparison to high school vice-principals, assistant superintendents

and central office staff.

From their study, Gmelch and Swent (1984) found that nearly all

elementary and junior and senior high principals rated compliance with state,

federal and organizational rules and policies as their primary source of stress.

In contrast, senior and junior high vice-principals rated attending meetings and

resolving parent conflicts, respectively, as their top stressor. Elementary and

senior high principals rated the overwhelming number of meetings as their

second top stressor, whereas junior high principals noted that latter area, as well

as the evaluation of staffs performance as their next most stressful activity.

Again, secondary school principals were more bothered by frequent telephone

interruptions and participation in school activities outside normal working hours,

than elementary and junior high principals. When compared to elementary

principals, secondary school and junior high principals were bothered more by

student conflicts. Rank and mean scores of the top stressors by administrative

position are provided in Table 2-1.

Gmelch and Swent (1984) noted that four of the most troubling stressors

corresponded to the management of activities and their relationship to time.

Therefore, they recommended that emphasis be placed on time and activity

management training for principals, particularly in certification and preservice

programs. In addition, the researchers encouraged greater emphasis in

increasing principals' understanding and comfort level relative to legal training,

compliance procedures and guidelines. In addition, continued emphasis on








interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution and community relations

was strongly recommended by Gmelch and Swent.

Other researchers have explored the domain of principals and stress,

supporting and expanding upon Gmelch and Swent's work. Brimm's study (1983)

of Tennessee school administrators included 258 elementary principals,

75 junior high principals, 121 secondary principals, 61 superintendents, and

94 supervisors of instruction. The study supported Swent and Gmelch's earlier

findings, with 8 of the top 10 stressors identified in the Oregon study also being

identified by Tennessee administrators as creating significant job-related stress.

Brimm reported that the top 10 stressors identified by Tennessee administrators

who completed the Administrative Stress Index were as follows:

(1) complying with state, federal, and organizational rules and policies;
(2) having to make decisions that affect the lives of individual people
I know;
(3) trying to resolve parent-school conflicts;
(4) evaluating staff members' performance;
(5) being interrupted frequently by telephone calls;
(6) trying to complete reports and other paper work on time;
(7) trying to gain public approval and/or financial support for school
programs;
(8) feeling I have to participate in school activities outside the normal
working hours;
(9) feeling that the progress on my job is not what it should or could be;
(10) feeling that I have too heavy a work load, one I cannot possibly finish
during the normal working day. (Brimm, p. 66)

For the most part, those tasks which were perceived to be stressful for

principals related primarily to the day-to-day job administrative tasks and

responsibilities normally associated with the principalship. Brimm's study

revealed that secondary school principals also reported considerable stress

resulting from the overall workload and excessive paperwork, citing that such








activities could not be completed during the normal work hours. Elementary,

junior and high school principals reported that the activities were particularly

bothersome and ones that caused anxiety: (a) decision making involving

students and staff, (b) the evaluation of staff members, and (c) attempts to

resolve parent-school conflicts. Of importance however, were Brimm's findings

which revealed differences among the administrators with regard to individual

stressors. Principals at all levels showed a relationship between job stress and

the high expectations they establish for themselves. Elementary principals, in

contrast to junior high and high school principals, reported feeling more pressure

on this question. In contrast, junior high and secondary school principals reported

that their participation in school activities outside of the normal work hours

resulted in substantial stress.

Whan and Thomas (1996) contributed to the growing research base on

principal stress by directly measuring the physiological changes in capillary red

cell movement as the body responded to stress. A Tissue Perfusion Index (TPI)

was calculated based on changes in the capillary red cell movement. TPI

readings were reported to be inversely related to the level of stress. Severe

stress was shown with a TPI reading of ten or below, indicating that the blood

flow to the capillaries had been severely restricted. Heavy stress was shown as a

TPI reading over 10 and up to 30, indicating that because of a physiological

response, the blood flow to the capillaries had been heavily restricted. Lending

support to the concept that not all stress is counterproductive, operational stress

was noted with a TPI reading over 30 and up to 80, indicating that a certain








amount of stress was noted, but that the level of stress was productive in

generating energy towards meeting goals. Finally, relaxation was noted with TPI

levels between 81 and 120 with a base level of 100. A level above 120 indicated

deeper relaxation, a lowered pulse rate, and relaxed breathing.

For the study, Whan and Thomas followed ten principals from one division

of the State Department of Education in New South Wales, Australia, for a period

of five days. Stress was identified by the observations of the principals and

verified by the physiological TPI levels. A summary of the researchers' findings

indicated that nine of the ten principals experienced days when they were

affected by heavy or severe stress for more than 30% of the time at work,

occurring on 77% of the days observed. Likewise, five of the ten principals

experienced days when they were under heavy or severe stress for more than

50% of their time at work. Whan and Thomas's results concurred with others'

findings that stress does vary from individual to individual. However, they

observed activities and administrative behaviors that coincided with increased

levels of stress for all the observed principals.

From Whan and Thomas's study, eight broad categories of stress-

associated activities were identified, with six related to personnel within the

school community. Although the principals valued hard work, honesty, and a

desire to ensure effective instructional strategies, heavy or severe stress levels

were noted when teachers exhibited values that were contradictory to that of the

principal. Similarly, teachers' lack of honesty and openness raised the stress

level of the principal. Elevations in stress levels were noted during formal








assemblies, as well as staff meetings, particularly when controversial issues

were to be discussed or when there was uncertainty about how teachers would

react. Likewise, severe stress was also associated with teacher absences, when

the task of finding a replacement was placed on the principal. Inadequate

performances by members of the administrative staff and certain teacher

behaviors were associated with heavy and severe stress in the principals.

Teacher behaviors associated with these stress levels included their failure to

supervise the students properly, to circulate in the classroom to assist students,

and to prepare lessons adequately. Likewise, principals associated higher stress

levels with teacher behaviors such as frequently sending the students to the

principal for discipline, blaming others for their own problems, and failure to carry

out administrative directives at the required time. Finally, higher stress levels

were associated with teachers being generally negative and unsupportive, in

addition to frequent complaining to other staff members about decisions,

procedures, and duties. Recurring, defiant student behaviors left principals

feeling frustrated, annoyed, angry and stressed. Similarly, the possibility of harm,

threat, loss of status or reputation from confrontational situations with parents

brought about severe and heavy stress levels. Likewise, when confronted with

powerful parent organizations or lobby groups, principals experienced heavy

stress levels. Elevated stress levels were also recorded when the ultimate

responsibility for rectifying supply shortages was left to the principal. Finally,

principals' stress levels increased when dealing with matters pertaining to the








buildings and grounds and the implementation of numerous simultaneous policy

changes and initiatives.

Such stressors, identified by Whan and Thomas, were amplified by the

principals' sense of time urgency to complete the tasks, while dealing with

interruptions. In summary, Whan and Thomas identified several elements of the

principalship that were associated with increased levels of stress in all or most of

the principals observed. These included (a) certain teacher attitudes and

behaviors, (b) substandard performance of administrative staff, (c) recurring

inappropriate student behavior, (d) problems with buildings and grounds,

(e) development and implementation of policy and curriculum, as well as (f) the

heavy demands of work to be completed within a limited period of time.

Coping in the Principalship

By using the Administrative Stress Index and Coping Preference Scale,

Allison (1997) explored the differences and the relationships between specific

coping techniques used most commonly by principals and the total stress scores.

Allison's sample for this survey research consisted of 1,455 public school

principals in the province of British Columbia, Canada. The most common coping

strategies chosen by the principal respondents were primarily strategies intended

to moderate the effects of stress on the individual, as opposed to strategies that

intended to reduce the sources of stress in the environment. Using the Coping

Preference Scale, Allison identified the top five coping strategies as the following:

1. practice good human relation skills with staff, students and parents;
2. maintain a sense of humor;
3. approach problems optimistically and objectively;








4. maintain regular sleep habits, and
5. set realistic goals (recognize job limitations).

Allison continued to delineate the various coping strategies into seven

factors, rank ordering them according to their weighted means. The following

coping preference scale factors were identified and ranked accordingly:

1. realistic perspective;
2. positive attitude;
3. good physical health program;
4. intellectual, social, and spiritual support;
5. increased involvement;
6. time management and organization;
7. withdrawal and recharging.

Utilizing a stepwise multiple regression analysis, Allison identified eight

coping strategies that were significantly associated with the principals' total

Administrative Stress Index score (p < .05). However, the issue of multi-

collinearity amongst the variables was not addressed in the cited methodology.

Specifically, principals who set realistic goals, approached problems

optimistically and objectively, engaged in activities that supported spiritual

growth, took mini-vacations, and were actively involved in their communities were

found to have significantly lower stress scores on the Administrative Stress

Index. In addition, principals with low stress scores chose two coping strategies

related to their own health and well-being (i.e., engage in regular physical

exercise or less active non-work or play activities). In contrast, Allison noted that

principals with high stress scores generally chose coping strategies related to

their job (i.e., working harder, including nights and weekends; talking to district

administrators and other school principals, and withdrawing from situations).








In addition, Allison reported that principals with low stress levels had a

statistically significant greater repertoire of coping techniques with a mean

number of 12.08 frequently chosen coping strategies. In contrast, principals with

high stress scores had a mean of 9.64 frequently chosen coping strategies.

Overall, principals with higher stress scores had a more limited repertoire of

coping techniques. In addition, principals with higher stress scores use the

coping techniques overall to a lesser extent than principals with lower stress

scores.

Allison's analysis of stress and coping strategies in relation to principal

and school characteristics revealed differences by gender, school level, highest

level of degree, and age. Specifically, female elementary school principals and

female high school principals differ in their approach to coping. The elementary

principals tend to talk with family members and close friends, while the female

and male high school principals tend to work harder in order to cope. Male

elementary principals were reported to cope by engaging in active non-work or

play activities. Principals' degree level was positively related to their use of

coping strategies, with principals with doctoral degrees more frequently

employing coping strategies than master's level principals or bachelor's level

principals, respectively. Similarly, doctoral level principals reported that in

addition to working harder, they also maintain good health habits. Younger

principals (age 30-39) were more likely to work harder than older principals.

While differences existed for these personal variables, Allison noted that

amongst elementary and secondary female and male principals, their top three








coping strategies included the practice of good human relations skills with staff,

students and parents; the maintenance of a sense of humor; and an optimistic

and objective approach to problems. In all, Allison concluded that principals who

have broad coping repertoires tend to be in better health and to experience lower

stress levels, in comparison to principals with limited coping repertoires. Again,

Allison emphasized the importance of workshops for principals on task and time

management information, various coping strategies, and the development of

broad coping repertoires in order to lessen the effects of work-related stress.

Although school administrators are not able to completely eliminate stress

in their work day, efforts to raise their understanding and level of awareness

about stress and potential sources of stress will help them cope before stress

occurs. Successful administrators will be able to manage the various stressors

that they encounter daily, will be able to acknowledge the existence of potential

sources of stress, as well as be flexible to changing circumstances

(Brimm, 1983).

In brief, this chapter presented an overview of the literature relevant to

past and current models of stress, as well as the components of the stress,

appraisal and coping process. In addition, the demands of the principalship and

relevant research on principals' stress and coping processes were presented.

Chapter 3 continues with the methodology for the study.













CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This chapter presents the mediational model that was tested through this

research project. Secondly, the chapter reiterates the questions, hypotheses, and

analyses that guided this research project. Chapter 3 continues with a summary

of the University's Institutional Review Board approval process, as well as a

description of the population and samples for the pilot study and the final

research project. Next, the instruments used in the study are identified and

described in terms of their development. Available data on the psychometric

properties, reliability and validity, are presented. In addition, the procedures

involved in the research process, as well as in the collection of data are

delineated. Finally, the statistical analyses are identified and described.

Mediational Model

Guiding this study was a mediational model proposed by Baron and

Kenny (1986). First, these researchers stressed the importance of distinguishing

between moderator and mediating variables. Specifically, moderators were

defined as variables (quantitative or qualitative) that affect the direction and

strength of the relationship between the antecedent (independent) and outcome

(dependent) variables. In contrast, a variable may be considered to be a

mediator to the degree that it accounts for the relationship between the

antecedent and the outcome variables. Baron and Kenny proposed a path








diagram as a model for illustrating the concept of mediation, as depicted in

Figure 3-1.


SMediator
a b

C
Predictor Variable Outcome Variable

Figure 3-1. Mediational Model (Baron & Kenny, 1986).


Baron and Kenny's model assumes that there are three variables, with two

causal paths feeding into the outcome or dependent variable. First, there is the

path from the independent variable to the mediator (Path a). Next, there is the

impact of the independent variable on the mediator (Path b). Finally, there is the

path that depicts the direct impact of the antecedent variable on the outcome

variable (Path c).

Baron and Kenny stated that a variable functions as a mediator when the

following conditions occur: (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive

relationships with the presumed mediator, (b) mediator variations account for

variations in the outcome variable, and (c) when both are held constant, any

previous associations between the antecedent and the outcome variables are no

longer significant. Mediation, therefore, is considered to be strongest when there

is no longer any relationship between the antecedent and outcome variables.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among

principal characteristics, school demographic variables, and the preventive

coping resources of principals in relation to their level of stress. Specifically, this








study examined the mediational role of preventive coping resources between

principal characteristics and school demographic variables (the antecedent

variables) and the outcome variable (principals' stress levels). Preventive coping

resources were examined as the mechanism through which principal

characteristics and school demographic variables affect principals' stress levels.

The following section delineates the specific questions, hypotheses, and

model that guided this research project.

Question 1

What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in

Florida?

Analysis of Question 1

Question 1 was analyzed through the provision of descriptive statistics for

principals' perceived stressors, including each variable's measures of central

tendency and variance.

Question 2

What are the current preventive coping resources of public school

principals in Florida?

Analysis of Question 2

Question 2 was analyzed through the provision of descriptive statistics for

principals' reported preventive coping resources, including the measures of

central tendency and variance.








Hypothesis 1

Principal characteristics (i.e., gender, years of experience as a principal,

and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables

(district enrollment, school level, and school enrollment) are related to principals'

preventive coping resources.

Analysis of Hypothesis 1

To test the first condition of the mediational model, the relationships

among the principal characteristics, school demographic variables, and

principals' preventive coping resources were explored through a regression

analysis. Within this analysis, the principal characteristics and school

demographic variables represented the two sets of antecedent variables.

Principal gender, district enrollment group, school level, and school enrollment

were treated as categorical variables and were dummy coded for the analyses. In

contrast, the number of years of experience and the number of hours worked per

week were treated as quantitative, continuous variables. Principals' preventive

coping resources represented the mediating variable. The estimated structural

model was E(Y1) = a + bix, + b2x2 + b3x3 + b4x4 + b5x5 + b6x6; where

Y1 = principals' preventive coping resources, x, = gender, x2 = number of years of

experience as a principal, x3 = number of hours worked per week, x4 = district

enrollment group, x5 = school level, and x6 = school enrollment.








Hypothesis 2

Principals' preventive coping resources are related to their stress levels,

with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and

variety of preventive coping resources.

Analysis of Hypothesis 2

To test the second condition of the mediational model, the relationship

between principals' preventive coping resources (the quantitative, mediating

variable) and principals' stress levels (the quantitative, outcome variable), when

controlling for the effects of principal characteristics and school demographic

variables, was analyzed through a regression analysis. The estimated structural

model was E(Y2) = a + b7Y1; where Y2 = principals' stress levels and

Yj = principals' preventive coping resources.

Hypothesis 3

Principals' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between

principal characteristics (i.e., gender, number of years of experience as a

principal, number of hours worked per week), school demographic variables

(i.e., district enrollment group, school level, and school enrollment), and

principals' stress levels.

Analysis of Hypothesis 3

The third condition of the hypothesized mediational model was tested

through a two-step regression analysis. Within the last step of the procedure

outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986), the outcome variable was first regressed on

the two sets of antecedent variables. For this analysis, the principal








characteristics and school demographic variables represented the two sets of

antecedent variables. Principal gender, district enrollment group, school level,

and school enrollment were treated as categorical variables and were dummy

coded for the analyses. In contrast, the number of years of experience and the

number of hours worked per week were treated as quantitative, continuous

variables. Principals' stress levels, as measured by the Administrative Stress

Index, were treated as a quantitative, outcome variable. The estimated structural

model that was tested for this step was the following: E(Y2) = a + bixi + b2x2 +

b3x3+ b4x4 + b5x5 + b6x6: where Y2 = principals' stress levels, x, = gender, x2 =

number of years of experience as a principal, x3 = number of hours worked per

week, x4 = district enrollment group, x5 = school level, and x6 = school enrollment.

Secondly, when establishing mediation, Baron and Kenny recommended

regressing the outcome variable on both the antecedent variables and the

mediating variable. In addition to the aforementioned variables, this analysis

included principals' preventive coping resources, as a quantitative, mediating

variable. The estimated structural model for this final step was:

E(Y2) = a + bix, + b2x2 + b3x3 + b4x4 + b5x5 + b6x6 + b7 Y1. Again, Y2 = principals'

stress levels, x, = gender, x2 = number of years of experience as a principal, x3 =

number of hours worked per week, x4 = district enrollment group, x5 = school

level, and x6 = school enrollment, and Yj = principals' preventive coping

resources.

Questions 1 and 2 provided descriptions of the various sources of stress

reported by principals and the preventive coping resources principals utilize.








Hypotheses 1 through 3 involved the steps recommended by Baron and Kenny

when testing for mediation. Specifically, Hypothesis 1 addressed

step one of the model, regressing the mediating variable on the two sets of

antecedent variables. Hypothesis 2 addressed the second step of the model,

regressing the outcome variable on the mediating variable. Finally, Hypothesis 3

addressed step three of the model, regressing the outcome variable on both the

antecedent and mediating variables.

Participants

In this section, the Institutional Review Board procedure and approval

process is specified, as well as the prerequisite activities. In addition, the

population for the study, as well as the samples for the pilot study and actual

research study are described.

Institutional Review Board Procedure and Approval

Prior to the initiation of the research project, approval to use the

Administrative Stress Index and the Preventive Resources Inventory was

obtained from the test authors. The letters requesting permission and granting

permission to use the Administrative Stress Index are noted in Appendices A and

B. The letters requesting permission and granting permission to use the

Preventive Resources Inventory are found in Appendices C and D. In addition,

prior to seeking approval from the University of Florida's Institutional Review

Board (UFIRB), a request for information regarding the availability of principals'

residential addresses was sent to the Florida Department of Education (Appendix

E). Once the aforementioned permission letters and information were obtained,








approval from the UFIRB was requested for this research project. Approvals for

the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index and the final study were

obtained through separate applications. The protocol and Informed Consent for

the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index are provided in Appendices F

and G. UFIRB approval was granted for the pilot study and is displayed in

Appendix H. Likewise, Appendix I includes a copy of the participant questionnaire

for the pilot study. Appendix J includes the Administrative Stress Index. Finally,

the protocol and Informed Consent for the final research study are provided in

Appendices K and L, respectively.

Population

The population for this study included all elementary, middle/junior high,

and high school public school principals in Florida employed during the

2001-2002 school year. The Florida Department of Education's Education and

Information and Accountability Services report (Fall, 2001) noted that there are

2,714 public school principals in Florida. More specifically, 59% (N = 1,612) of

the principals in Florida are females, whereas 41% (N = 1,102) of the principals

are males. Within the aforementioned report, the Profiles of Florida School

Districts (Fall, 2001) indicated that for the Racial/Ethnic Distribution Profiles of

Total Administrative Staff at the School Level, 73% (N = 1,987) of the staff are

White, Non-Hispanic; 20% (N = 537) of the staff are Black, Non-Hispanic; 7%

(N = 182) of the administrative staff are Hispanic; less than 1% (N = 2) are

Asian/Pacific Islander; and less than 1% (N = 6) are American Indian/Alaskan

Native.








The Florida Department of Education's Education Information and

Accountability Services report also indicated that there are 67 districts in Florida.

Such districts are alphabetized and numbered from 1 to 67, respectively.

Of these 67 districts, 10% (N=7) are identified as very large, with a student

enrollment of 100,000 students or more; 10% (N=7) are large, with a student

enrollment of 40,000 to 99,999; 21% (N=14) are medium, with a student

enrollment of 20,000 to 39,999; 21% (N=14) are noted as medium/small,

with a student enrollment of 7,000 to 19,999; and lastly, 37% (N=25) are small,

with a student enrollment of less than 7,000.

Finally, the Profiles of Florida School Districts Report (2001 2002), within

the Education Information and Accountability Services report, indicated that there

are 3,648 public schools within the 67 districts. Of these schools, 45% (N=1,656)

are elementary, 13% (N=465) are middle/junior, and 11% (N=399) are senior

high schools. The remaining 31% or 1,128 schools represent exceptional student

schools, combination schools, adult schools, vocational schools, charter schools,

Department of Juvenile Justice, or other types of schools.

Sample

Two separate samples were selected for this research project. Initially, a

sample was drawn for the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index.

Following the pilot study, a subsequent sample was drawn for the actual

research study.

Pilot study sample. A total of 30 public school principals from the

elementary, middle, and high school levels within a large Central Florida school








district were randomly selected. Of the 30 principals randomly selected, a total of

25 principals responded to the survey, representing an 83% response rate.

Within the resultant sample, 52% were males and 48% were females. The mean

age of the participating principals was 52.4 years. Eighty percent of the

participating principals in the pilot study were White Non-Hispanic. Eight percent

of the participants 8% indicated a racial/ethnic category of either Hispanic or

Black Non-Hispanic; and lastly, 4% indicated a racial/ethnic category of American

Indian/Alaskan Native. Within the pilot study sample, 72% of the participants

reported holding a Master's degree as their highest level of degree obtained.

Another 20% indicated that they hold a Specialist degree, while 8% had received

a Doctorate.

The mean number of years the pilot study participants had been principals

was 10.4. In contrast, the mean number of years in the field of education was

reported by the principals to be 29.2. Sixty percent of the participants

represented the elementary school level, whereas 20% represented the middle

school level, and another 20% represented the high school level. Finally, when

asked about the school enrollments, 32% of the principals indicated an

enrollment of 750 or fewer students, 44% reported a school enrollment of 751 to

1,000 students, and finally, 24% indicated a student enrollment of 1,501 or more

students on their campus. Table 3-1 summarizes the characteristics of the 25

participating principals for the pilot study.








Table 3-1

Principal Respondents' Characteristics for Pilot Study

Characteristics Frequency Valid %
Gender
Female 12 48%
Male 13 52%
Racial/Ethnic Category
American Indian/Alaskan Native 1 4%
Black Non-Hispanic 2 8%
Hispanic 2 8%
White Non-Hispanic 20 80%
Highest Degree Earned
Masters 18 72%
Specialist 5 20%
Doctorate 2 8%
School Level
Elementary 15 60%
Middle 5 20%
High 5 20%
School Enrollment
1-750 8 32%
751-1,500 11 44%
1,501 or more 6 24%
Note: N = 25.

Research study sample. A request for the mailing addresses of the

principals in Florida was made to the Florida Department of Education (Appendix

E). From this listing, a sample of principals (N = 216) was drawn from the

population of public school principals in Florida using a stratified design. During

the random selection process, it was necessary to combine the small and








medium/small categories in order to obtain a sufficient number of principals at

each level for the study. The principals were selected randomly from each of the

four district enrollment groups (i.e., very large, large, medium, small/medium-

small) by school levels (i.e., elementary, middle/junior, high), for a total of 12

categories. Eighteen principals from each of the 12 categories were selected,

yielding a total sample size of 216 participants.

Five surveys were returned as undeliverable from the initial mail out.

Babbie (1973) recommended that, in calculating the actual response rate, the

number of questionnaires that could not be delivered should be subtracted from

the initial sample size. The actual response rate is then based on the number of

completed questionnaires divided by the net sample size. For this study, the net

sample size was 211 principals.

Two weeks after the initial mailing, a total of 68 completed surveys and

four undeliverable surveys were received, yielding a response rate of 32%. A

second mailing was sent out on the fifteenth day of the study to those principals

that had not responded at that point to the initial mailing, along with a letter again

requesting their participation in the study. A total of 116 completed surveys and

five undeliverable surveys were received. Twenty-three of the completed

surveys, or 20 of the surveys, were a result of the second mailing. Overall, a

response rate of 55% was obtained through the two mailings and the offering of

the gift card. A third mailing was not necessary as the desired response rate for

analysis and reporting was obtained from the first two mailings.








Forty-nine percent of the participating principals were females, whereas

approximately 51% of the principals were males. The majority of principals, 88%,

were White Non-Hispanic, whereas approximately 10% were Black Non-

Hispanic. Slightly less than 1 % of the respondents were either American

Indian/Alaskan Native or Hispanic. The age of principals ranged between 37 and

63, with the majority of respondents (68%) between the ages of 49 and 60. The

average age of the principal respondents was 52 years. Table 3-2 summarizes

the principal respondents' personal characteristics.

Table 3-2

Principal Respondents' Personal Characteristics for Actual Study

Personal Characteristics Frequency Valid %
Gender
Female 57 49.1%
Male 59 50.9%
Racial/Ethnic Category
American Indian/Alaskan Native 1 .9%
Black Non-Hispanic 12 10.5%
Hispanic 1 .9%
White Non-Hispanic 100 87.7%
Age at Time of Survey
37-42 9 7.8%
43-48 22 19.2%
49-54 47 40.9%
55-60 31 26.9%
60 or older 6 5.2%
Note: N = 116. Two respondents did not provide a racial/ethnic category. One
respondent did not provide a current age.








A total of 80 principals, representing 69% of the respondents, reported a

master's degree as their highest degree earned. Principals with doctorate

degrees accounted for 24% of the respondents, whereas 7% had a specialist

degree. The principals were also asked to indicate their total number of years in

the education profession. The majority of principal respondents (56%) reported

between 22 and 31 total years in the education profession. Another 24% reported

between 32 and 36 years of experience in education. The principal respondents

for this study averaged 28 years of experience in education, with a minimum of

12 years and a maximum of 41.

When asked what age the principals were first appointed to a

principalship, the age range for this sample varied between 25 and 60 years of

age, with a mean of 43. The majority of respondents (61%) were between 37 and

48 when first appointed. With regards to principal tenure, the respondents

varied from one year to 36 years as a principal. The majority of respondents

(73%) ranged from one to ten years of experience, with another 10% reporting

between 16 and 20 years of experience as a principal. The average number of

years of experience as a principal for this sample was reported to be 8.

Finally, the principals were surveyed about the approximate average

number of hours worked per week, including activities relevant to attending

school functions, school district meetings, etc. Although the number of hours

varied between 43 and 98, the average number of hours worked per week was

reported to be 57. Principals who reported the number of hours worked per week

ranging from 49-63 accounted for 75% of the respondents. Approximately 11% of








the sample reported working 70 or more hours per week. Table 3-3 summarizes

the professional characteristics of the participating principals.

Principals were surveyed regarding the levels of school in which they have

been principals. Approximately 33% of the principal respondents were based at

elementary schools. Another 35% were principals at the middle/junior level.

Twenty-five percent were high school principals. Lastly, approximately 7% of the

respondents were principals at either combination middle/high schools or other

school settings. Approximately 77% (N = 89) of the participating principals

reported experience at one school level during their career as principals. In

contrast, 19% (N = 22) reported experience as a principal at two school levels.

Within the sample, 4% (N = 5) of the principals noted experience at the

elementary, middle/junior, and high school levels.

Principal respondents were asked to indicate the enrollment group, or PK-

12 membership, in the district in which they were principals. Initially, response

categories were: (a) small-less than 7,000 students, (b) medium/small- 7,000-

19,999 students, (c) medium- 20,000-39,999 students, (d) large- 40,000-100,000

students, and (e) very large-greater than 100,000 students. However, the five

district enrollment categories were recorded into three categories due to the

number of cases with missing values for the regression analyses. Specifically,

the resultant district enrollment categories were as follows: (a) small/medium

size, 39,999 students or less; (b) large size, 40,000 to 100,000 students; and

(c) very large, greater than 100,000 students. Fifty percent of the participating








Table 3-3

Principal Respondents' Professional Characteristics for Actual Study

Professional Characteristics Frequency Valid %
Highest Degree Earned
Masters 80 69.0%
Specialist 8 6.9%
Doctorate 28 24.1%

Number of Years in the Education Profession
12-16 7 6.1%
17-21 9 7.8%
22-26 32 27.8%
27-31 32 27.9%
32-36 29 24.3%
37-41 6 6.0%

Age Appointed to First Principalship
25-30 4 1.8%
31-36 17 16.3%
37-42 33 28.3%
43-48 38 32.7%
49-54 22 18.9%
55 or greater 2 1.7%

Total Number of Years as a Principal
1-5 48 41.4%
6-10 37 32.0%
11-15 12 7.3%
16-20 12 10.3%
21-25 5 4.4%
25 or greater 2 1.8%

Number of Hours Worked Per Week
43-48 7 6.2%
49-53 37 32.6%
54-58 21 18.6%
59-63 28 24.6%
64-69 9 7.9%
70 or greater 12 10.6%
Note: N = 116. One respondent did not provide the total number of years in the
education profession. Two respondents did not provide the number of hours
worked per week.




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THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS , SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES, PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES , AND STRESSORS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN FLORIDA By CONSTANCE A. WEBER-SORICE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2002

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This dissertation is dedicated to my husband , sons, parents, and mother-in-law . May it always symbolize my love of learning and strong beliefs in dedication, persistence, and hope. In addition, may it serve as a reminder of the value of belief in oneself and others ; the importance of patience; and the strength of love, support, and encouragement.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This educational dream and journey would not have been entirely possible without the support and assistance from my family , friends , and committee members . First , and foremost , I recognize the unending belief my husband , Rocky , has had in me . Even before beginning the program, Rocky conveyed his pride and certainty of my success in whatever endeavors I pursued. In addition , Rocky has been my best friend, relentless ear, shoulder to cry on , and sense of humor to guide me over the bumps . Secondly , my husband and I could not have asked for two better sons . Rocky Ill has transitioned from elementary school, to middle school , to high school during my doctoral studies. His maturity , encouraging questions , reminders of the study habits I have modeled , gentle accountability for writing, and encouraging words have kept me on the road to completion. Our youngest son , Chad , has guided me throughout my studies by reminding me of the real priorities in life . The innocence in Chad ' s voice , his smiles , hugs , and artwork have helped me ge t through the times when I just did not know . Being one of seven children , one might think that there would no t have been enough love , time , and encouragement to go around . However , my parents have always managed to be there for me, to encourage me , to help with the boys , and to share their sense of pride in me. For my mom and dad ' s love and support , I am iii

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forever grateful. Along with my mom and dad, I must acknowledge the support, friendship, and assistance that my sisters have given me. Throughout these six years they have listened to my stories, even when the stories did not seem to make sense. In addition, they were never short on telling me how proud they were of me. Their kind words of encouragement helped keep me going. At the same time, my mother-in-law has given unselfishly her time, assistance, and love . She has been there to love my sons when I could not be there and has encouraged me with her conveyance of pride in me. My committee members have each contributed to my accomplishments in a unique way. Dr. Phil Clark, my committee chair, had high expectations for me. He not only modeled integrity and professionalism throughout my program of studies but also shared his enthusiasm and pleasure in each of my accomplishments. My cochair , Dr. Anne Seraphine , sparked my desire to know more . She helped me keep the thoughts flowing. Her guidance, assistance, words of encouragement, sense of humor , candidness, and friendship helped make learning fun. For being a role model, I extend my appreciation to Dr. Jim Doud. When times were tough , he shined as an example. When I needed someone to help me work through issues, he listened. And when I needed a shot in the arm, he was honest and gave it to me. Most of all, I thank Dr . Doud for teaching me the importance of reflecting . I also wish to thank Dr . Tom Oakland for helping me understand myself even better. His gentle words of encouragement and praise, as well as unselfish gift of time, did not go unnoticed. I also thank Dr. Fran Vandiver for keeping me on my toes with her challenging and insightful questions. iv

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When the bumps in the road arise , we also call upon our friends . Acknowledgement must be extended to my traveling buddy and colleague , Mev Waskiewicz . Without her friendship and support both at work and throughout the doctoral program , the journey would not have been the same , or as much fun . She was there for me during the meltdowns and she was there for the celebrations . Most of all , she was there just to listen . Next , a sincere appreciation is offered to my secretary , Agnes King , for helping protect my time and for reminding me that it was time to end the work day . She was the caregiver when I was tired and hungry . Finally , thanks are extended to the former graduates for their inspiration and confidence. Acknowledgment must be paid to Superintendent Bill Hall and the principals in Volusia County . Not only have they been an inspiration to me in their dedication to our students and staff , but also they have encouraged and assisted me in this journey by participating in my pilot study and by making themselves avai l able for interviews and activities . Very special thanks are extended to Marilyn Travis , principal , for always being there to ask probing questions , for representing principals with her ideas , for valuing what I had to share , and for encouraging me in this venture. Special appreciation is extended to Joyce Dolbier and Barbara Smerage, my editors. Their expertise and experience were invaluable to me in helping smooth out the rough edges of my dissertation and in getting the correc t format. In addition , both Joyce and Barbara were most gracious with their schedules , helping me meet the selfi mposed and university deadlines . V

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Although some might forget, the staff at UF must be acknowledged. From the personnel in the Registrar ' s Office, Financial Services, IRS office, to those in the libraries, departmental staff, and security, I appreciated the friendliness and assistance I received . Even though UF has thousands of students, I was always made to feel like I was the first person asking the question and that my needs were important. Finally , I thank God for the talents and abilities He has given me. I also thank Him for keeping me strong, healthy, and safe over the course of my doctoral program . My prayers for help were heard and answered. vi

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................... . ...................................... ... .. iii LIST OF TABLES ............. . ...................................................................... . ............ xi LIST OF FIGURES .............................................. . .......................... . ................... xiii ABSTRACT . . ............................................... . ............................................ . ..... . ... xiv CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .......................... . ......................... . ................................... . .... 1 Statement of the Problem ............................................................. . .............. . .... 3 Purpose of the Study ...................................................................................... 22 Question 1 ....................... . ................ . ................................................ . . . . . .... 23 Question 2 .................................................................................................. 23 Hypothesis 1 .. .. ...... . ..................................................................... . ............. 23 Hypothesis 2 ................................ : ......................................................... . ... 23 Hypothesis 3 ............................. . .... . ................. . .............................. . ... . ...... 23 Glossary of Terms ............................................................. . ............................ 24 Significance of the Study ......................................................... . ................... . .. 26 Delimitations and Limitations of the Study .................................................. .. .. 28 Delimitations ................... . ................................... . .......................... . ........... 28 Limitations ....................... . ................................ . ................................. . ... . ... 28 Organization of the Remainder of the Study ............................................... . .. 29 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ......................................................... . . . . . . . .... 30 Introduction to Stress and Coping .................. . .................................. . ........ . ... 30 The Concept of Stress ...... . ................................................................. . .... . . 32 Historical Models of Stress ............................................................. . .. . .... . ... 34 Stress and Coping: Current Perspectives .......................... . ............ . .......... 38 Stress, Appraisal, and Coping ......... . ............... . .................... . ..................... 40 Coping .................... . .................................................................................. 46 Coping Resources ........................... . .............................................. . ......... . 49 Demands in the Principalship ............................................................... . ......... 54 Principals and Stress .................................................................... . ........... . 57 Coping in the Principalship ......................................................................... 66 vii

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3 METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................... 70 Mediational Model .......................................................................................... 70 Question 1 .................................................................................................. 72 Analysis of Question 1 ............................................................................... 72 Question 2 .................................................................................................. 72 Analysis of Question 2 ...................................... ............ . .... ... . .. ... ... .... ..... ... 72 Hypothesis 1 . .... ... ..... ...... ... .......... .... .. ....... ....................... ... ............ ........... 73 Analysis of Hypothesis 1 ... . ...... .... ... . ... ..... ....... .. ........ ....... . .. ........ ......... ... ... 73 Hypothesis 2 .............................................................................................. 7 4 Analysis of Hypothesis 2 ............................................................................ 7 4 Hypothesis 3 .............................................................................................. 7 4 Analysis of Hypothesis 3 ............................................................................ 7 4 Participants .. .. ........ ....... . .......... ............. .. ................ .... ......... .. ............. .......... . 76 Institutional Review Board Procedure and Approval .................................. 76 Population .................................................................................................. 77 Sample ....................................................................................................... 79 Instrumentation .............. .. ... ...... ........ ...... ......... ... ............... ..... ............ ........... 87 Introduction ................................................................................................ 87 Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire ................... 90 Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI) ....................................................... 91 Administrative Stress Index (ASI) .............................................................. 95 Reliability of Instruments .......... ........ ................ . ........ .. ....... . ... ..... . ........ . ... 100 Procedures ..... .................. ............. ............................... .. ............... ....... ..... ... 101 Pilot Study .... ...... ... ..... ..... .................. .. ......... ... .... ................ ...... . ..... ......... 101 Research Study ...................................................................................... 103 Data Analysis ............................................................................................... 1 05 4 RES UL TS AND ANALYSIS OF DATA .. . ..................... ............ ............ ..... .. .. 111 Introduction .................................................................................................. 111 Question 1 ................ ........ ... ............. . ....................... . ............. . ...... ..... .... .. 112 Question 2 ................................................................................................ 112 Hypothesis 1 ............................................................................................ 112 Hypothesis 2 ............................................................................................ 112 Hypothesis 3 ............................................................................................ 112 Analyses and Quantitative Results ...................... ..... ... . ............. .. ...... .... .... ... 113 Question 1 ................................................................................................ 113 Analysis .................................................................................................... 113 Question 2 ................................................................................................ 114 Analysis .................................................................................................... 114 Hypothesis Testing ...................... .... ........ . ............................... .............. ..... .. 120 Hypothesis 1 ............................................................................................ 127 Analysis of Hypothesis 1 ...... ........................................... ........ ....... ...... .. .. 127 Hypothesis 2 ............................................................................................ 130 Analysis of Hypothesis 2 .......................................................................... 130 viii

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Hypothesis 3 . . .. . . . ... .. .. ... . . .. ..... .. .. . . . ... . .... . . . . . ... ... .. . .. . ... . ... . ... ... .. . .. .. .... . . ... ... . 133 Analysis of Hypothesis 3 . .. . .. . . . . .. . ......... ....... . .. .... ..... . . . . . .. .. . ... ... . ......... . . . . . . . 133 Qualitative Results .. . ... . ... . . .. . ...... . .. ... . . . . .. . .. .......... . .. .. ...... .. .............. .. . .... ... .... 138 Summary of Results .. .. .. .. . ...... . .. ... .... .. .. .. . . .. .. . . .. . . ... ...... .. . ... . ...... .... .. .. . . ..... .... . 140 5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION , CONCLUSIONS , AND RECOMMENDATIONS143 Introduction .. . . . . . . . ..... . .. .. . . .. . . .. . ... . . .. ....... . ..... ....... . ... .. . . ... ... . .. ........ . ... ... ........ . .. 143 Question 1 . ..... . . ...... . .... .......... .... . . . .. . ..... .. ...... . ... ....... . .. .. . . . ..... .... ... . .. . . . .. ..... 144 Question 2 . .. ............. . . . . .. .. .. .. . . .. .. .. .. .. . ... .... . . . . . .... .. .. . .. .. . .. .... . .... . .. . .. ..... . . . .... 144 Hypothesis 1 . . .. . ..... .. .. ..... . . ... ... . ....... .. .... ... . .. ..... . ...... ... . . ... ... . . . . .. ........ ... . ... . 144 Hypothesis 2 ... ...... . ..... ........ ..... .. . .. . ... .. .. . . . .. . .... .... ... ... .. . . ... ......... .. . .......... .. 144 Hypothesis 3 .......... . ... .. . .. . .. . .... . . ... ... . . .............. . . . . .... ..... . . . . .. . ... .. ... .. ...... . .... 144 Summary and Discussion of Results .. ... .. . . . .. . ..... .... ..... .. . .. . .. . ... . . .. ... . ... . .. . . .... . 146 Descriptive Data Results . ..... .......... .. ..... . . .. . .. . .. .... . ... . ... . .. .. .. ...... .... .. ........ .. 148 Quantitative Data Results . . . ... . . .. ... ... .. ... ............. .... ..... .. .... . ... ... .. . . .... . .. . .. . . 154 Conclusions ... . ..... .. .. . . . . . . . ..... . .... . .. .. .. .. .. ... .. . .... .. ...... . ...... . ...... ... ...... ... .. ... . . . . .. .. 166 Implications . . . .. .. ... ... .. . .. . . ..... . .. . .... . .... .... .... . . . ... . ... . ....... . ... . .... ... ... . . . . ....... ....... . 171 Theory . ... ..... . ..... . .. . .. . . . .... . .. .. . ......... . ... . . . .. . . ... .. . .... ... . . . . ..... . ..... . . .. . . . . .. . .. ....... 171 Practice ..... . ............ . ... . . .. . . . .... .. ..... ... . . . . ..... ........ .. . . . ..... ..... . . . .... . .. . ... .... . . . .... 172 Recommendations for Future Research . .. .... .. . . . ... ............... .. ....... .. .. .... . . . .. . .. 174 APPENDIX A LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION TO USE THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX . .. . ... .... . . ............ . .............. . . .. . . . . ...... . . . ....... .. ... ... . . . . .. ... . .. . .. ... . 177 B PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX 179 C LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION TO USE THE PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY ..... ........ ... ..... .. .. .. .. .. . . . . .. .. .. ... .. ..... .. .... . .. .... ... . .. . . . 181 D PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY ..... . . ....... . ..... .. . . .. ...... . . ..... .. .. . .... . ..... . . .... ..... . . . ... ... . ... ... ........ ... .... 183 E REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION .... .... ... . ..... . .. . .... . .... . ..... . .. . ...... . . .... . . ... ..... ...... .... ... ..... .. .... . .. .. ... . . 185 F UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE TRESS INDEX . . .... ..... . .... .... . ..... .. .... . . . .. ... ... . . ... . .... ... . ..... . ........ ...... ... . .... .. . .. ... 187 G LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX .... . ..... . ... . . . . . . .. . .. . .. .... ...... .. . . . ..... . . .. .. . . .... 190 H UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX ......... .. . . . ..... . . .. . . . .. . ........... . . ... . ... . ........ .. 192 ix

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PARTICIPANT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX ............................................................ 194 J ADMINISTRATIVE STRES INDEX-PILOT STUDY ...................................... 196 K UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY ........................ 199 L LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY ... ... .... .. . ....... ..... .. ........ .. ....................... . .. ... . . ....... . ............ .... . . ...... .. ... 203 M UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY ....... . .... .. ...... .. .. . .. . .. .. ..... .. ... .. .... .. ...................... . ... . ... .... ...... .......... .. ... 205 N UFIRB APPROVAL TO INCREASE SAMPLE SIZE FOR FINAL RESEARCH STUDY ........ .. ........ . .......... .. ........ .... ..... .. ...... .. .............. .... ... . .... 207 0 PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS/SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ... .... .... . ................... ... . .... ......................... .. ... .... . .. ... ... ... ... 209 P ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX ..... . .. .. ... ....... .... . ............. ........ ... .... . ... .. . 212 Q PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY .................................... .. ...... ... .. 215 R LETTER TO PRINCIPALS-SECOND MAILING ......... ....... . . . ... .. . .. . .. . ... .... .. ... 219 S GIFT CARD PREFERENCE FORM ............... .... .................... ... . ... ... . ......... .. 221 T RESPONSE CARD FOR PRINCIPAL PARTICIPANTS . ...... . .......... ... ..... ..... 223 U OPEN ENDED RESPONSES TO SOURCES OF STRESS . ... . ....... .. ...... .. .. 225 V OPEN ENDED RESPONSES TO PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES .. 233 REFERENCES .... .. ....... ..... .. .. .... . . .... . .......... ... ........ .. .... .. . ...... .... .. ..... .... . . . ..... .. ... 237 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .. . ................ . ...... ..... .................. .. .. .. ..... ....... . .... ...... . 243 X

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LIST OF TABLES Table 2-1 Rank and Mean Scores of Top Stressors by Administrative Posi ti on as Reported by Gmelch and Swent (1984) ... ............ ........... . .. . .. . ...... . ..... . . . 60 3-1 Principal Respondents ' Characteristics for Pilot Study . ..... .................... ... . 80 3-2 Principal Respndents ' Personal Characteristics for Actual Study . .... . . ... .. . . 82 3-3 Principal Respondents ' Professional Characteristics for Actual Study ... .... 85 3-4 Principal Respondents ' School Demographic Characteristics . .. . ..... . .. .. .. .. . 88 3-5 Ranks, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Individual Stressors as Reported by Gmelch and Swent ( 1984) .... .. . . . ................... .. . . 97 3-6 Reliability Coefficients .. . . ... . . . .. . . ..... ........... . ..... ............ . . .......... . . . . . . . .. .. ....... 101 4-1 Principals ' Perceived Stressors as Measured on the Administrative Stress lndex .. . . . . . . .. .. . .... ... .. .. .. ... .. . . ...... .. . . .. .. . .. ... . . . ..... . ............ ... .. .. . ... . . . ... .. 115 4-2 Frequencies of Responses for Top Ten Perceived Stressors .. . ... . ... ... .... . 118 4-3 Principals ' Preventive Coping Resources as Measured on the Preventive Resources Inventory . .. . . .... . ....... . .. . .. .. ..... ... . .... . .. .. .... . ........... ... 121 4-4 Frequencies of Responses for Top Ten Preventive Coping Resources . . . . .. .. .... .. .... ...... ..... . .... ... . . .... . .... . .. . . . . .... ... .... . . .. . .... . .... . .... . ... .. ..... 125 4-5 Descriptive Statistics of Antecedent , Mediating, and Outcome Variables for Hypotheses 1 and 3 . .... ... . . .... . . .... .. . . . ... .... . . .. . . . .... .. . . ..... . .. . .... 129 4-6 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations for Hypothesis 1 . .. .. . .. .. .. . . ... . ...... . . .... . .. ..... ... ..... . . .... ...... ... . .. . .. .. ........ . ....... .. 131 xi

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4-7 Descriptive Statistics of Mediating and Outcome Variables for Hypothesis 2 . .. .... .... . ... .. ... . . . .. .. . ... . .. . ..... ..... . .. ... . ... .. . . . .. ..... . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . .. .... . 132 4-8 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients , Standardized Regression Coefficients , t-test Statistics , and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations for Hypothesis 2 ..... . ..... . . . . .. .. .. . ..... . ... . .. ..... . ...... . ... . .. .. .. .. . . .. . ... . . .. .. . ............. 132 4-9 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients , Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations for the First Step of Hypothesis 3 .. .. . . . ....... . .. .. .. . . . . . ... ... .. ... ... .. .. .............. . .. 135 4-10 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations for the Second Step of Hypothesis 3 ...... . . ... . . . . .. . ... . . . . . . . ... . .. ..... .. .. . . ...... . ... 137 5-1 Comparison of Reported Reliability Coefficients for the Preventive Resources Inventory . ... .. ......... ..... . .... ... . ... . ... . . .. ... .. .... . ....... ... ..... .. ... . . . . .. .. .. 165 xii

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1-1 Hypothesized model of prevention in stress and coping . . .. . ... . ......... ... . .. . . ... . 20 1-2 Conceptual model of principal characteristics, school demographics, preventive coping resources, and stress . . . .. . .. . . ...... .. .... ........... . ... . ... ... .. . .. . . ... 22 3-1 Mediational model . .. .. ....... ..... .... .... ... . . ....... .... ..... . . ... ...... . . ... . . .. . .... ............. . ... 71 xiii

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Require . ments for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS , SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES , PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES , AND STRESSORS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN FLORIDA By Constance A. Weber-Sorice December 2002 Chair : Phillip A. Clark Cochair: Anne E. Seraphine Major Department: Educational Leadership , Policy, and Foundations The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and the preventive coping resources of principals in relation to their level of stress . In addition , the study explored the extent to which preventive coping resources, functioning as a mediating variable , accounted for differences in principals ' stress levels. A stratified random sample of public school principals in Florida was drawn. Stratification was based on school level and district enrollment group (PK-12 membership). The resultant sample of 216 principals was surveyed for this study . A total of 116 surveys were returned resulting in a response rate of 55% . Principals ' perceived sources of stress were operationalized by their responses on the Administrative Stress Index developed by Gmelch and Swent. Principals ' preventive coping resources were assessed through self-report xiv

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answers on the Preventive Resources Inventory, developed by McCarthy and Lambert . Principal characteristics and school demographic variables were de r ived from responses on a questionnaire designed specifically for this study . A mediational model guided the development of the questions , hypotheses , and subsequent analyses for this study . Two research questions and three hypotheses were formulated to produce quantitative data. In addition , two open ended questions were asked to assess other possible sources of stress for principals and additional ways of preventing stress . A series of regression analyses were used to examine the relationships between the antecedent , mediating , and outcome variables. The results did not support the hypotheses that principal characteristics and school demographic variables are significantly associated with either principals ' preventive coping resources or principals ' stress levels . Results of this study also did not indicate that preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between principal characteristics and school demographic variables and principals ' stress levels . However , the results of this study did indicate a significant relationship between principals ' stress levels and their preventive coping resources . Subsequently , the theoretical and practical implications , as well as the importance of studying the role of preventive coping resources as it relates to principals ' stressors , continues to be demonstrated . xv

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Advocating for preventive health and stress management, lvancevich and Matteson (1980) have pointed out that job-related stress has become critically important to medical specialists , behavioral scientists, and organization managers. Although no one can determine precisely the cost of stress-induced poor health , lvancevich and Matteson, in the 1980s, noted that an estimated $18-25 billion was being lost each year through managers' absences , hospitalizations, or deaths. The link between high levels of stress and illness has been demonstrated in both children and adults. For example, Greenberg (1993) submitted that prolonged levels of stress across periods of time have been associated with hypertension , strokes, coronary heart disease, ulcers, migraine and tension headaches, cancer, allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and backaches. In addition, Greenberg reported that prolonged stress arousal has been linked to difficulties in interpersonal relationships, lowered work performance, absenteeism, wasted energy, depleted emotions, lowered self-confidence, increased job tension, and difficulties with clear thinking . Too much work or frequent frustrations at work also can lead to an individual ' s physical and emotional exhaustion or burnout. Although burnout can be viewed through a series of phases, advanced burnout has individual and organizational outcomes. Such consequences include decreases in job 1

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2 satisfaction and involvement , group cohesiveness , sense of humor , and performance indicators. In addition, burnout has been associated with i ncreases in physical complaints and emotional symptoms , the incidence of nonpsychotic psychiatric symptoms , social withdrawal , turnover , self-medication , and medical insurance costs (Golembiewski , 1996; Greenberg , 1993). As a result of these outcomes of stress , organizations ultimately experience lost opportunities due to employees ' lowered creativity levels and diminished inclination to take reasonable risks (lvancevich & Matteson , 1980). In light of the negative effects of stress on employees , managers are becoming more aware of their responsibility for promoting a healthy fit between the individuals in the organization and the work environment. lvancevich and Matteson (1980) have reported that preventive health and stress management includes any activities that (a) serve to protect individuals from exposure to stressors; or (b) that enhance the individual ' s mental and physical capabilities to resist , or withstand , the onset of these unfavorable situations , events , or thoughts. As such, organizational attempts toward preventive health management have been conveyed as positive advancements in the direction of conserving , utilizing, and developing human resources . Managers are responsible for a number of major roles in organizations . They must coordinate , communicate , make decisions , plan and control work activities , as well as encourage subordinates to perform optimally (lvancevich & Matteson , 1980). The demands , roles, and task expectations being placed on principals today are also expanding . As such, their perceived stressors and

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3 degrees of stress are changing . In 1994, more than 100,000 books , magazines , and journal articles had been written on the topic of stress (Gmelch & Chan , 1994 ) . However , in education , the literature and research have only per i odically addressed the major sources of stress for school principals . Lesser emphasis has been placed on research relevant to the coping strategies principals utilize once they perceive or experience stress and strain. Therefore , research initiatives should expand to include the identification of current sources of workplace stress, and strategies for coping once the stress is perceived , as well as the preventive coping resources principals have in place that will enable them to prevent or minimize the impact of these stressful situations. Subsequently , this chapter continues with a statement of the problem , the purpose of the study , the glossary of terms , the significance of the study , and the delimitations and limitations of the study . Statement of the Problem Gmelch and Chan (1994) have contended that educational leaders in t he twenty-first century will be "faced with more pressure, more aggression , more change , and more conflict than in any other period in education " (p . 1 ). Barth (1990) recognized that principals are facing startling changes in their roles, dwindling resources, and new challenges to meet federal and state guidelines . These changes for principals are combined with a lack of explicit knowledge about the skills needed in order to be effective leaders . Doud and Keller (1998) observed that significant changes have occurred in the demands placed on principals since Doud ' s earlier national study of principals (1989) . In Doud and Keller's survey , more than 50% of the 1 , 323

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4 respondents noted increased responsibilities in 8 of 11 identified areas. Similarly, Deal and Peterson (1994) have written that the role of the principal has evolved. Functions are related to controlling behavior, increasing scores on standardized tests, categorizing students for vocational tracks, and standardizing procedures in highly regulated, complex organizations. As has been noted, principals represent multiple constituencies. Reviews of the literature show that principals are agents for the state, the local community, the educational profession, and most importantly the children within their school. In addition to serving as an advocate for the children within their school, the principal's responsibilities have included staying abreast of the current laws, rules, and legislation enacted by the state. Likewise, principals are charged with the duties of implementing and carrying out the related policies and directives in order to provide the best education for the children within their school. At the same time, principals continue to serve the parents who send their children to the school, ensuring a nurturing, safe instructional environment that meets the needs of the students. Finally, the principal's responsibilities have also included working with instructional staff for the promotion and provision of best practices within the school. Balancing these constituencies is not easy (Starratt, 1995). Relative to this, Pines and Aronson (1988) have pointed out that "the quality of professional interactions in human service professions is affected by the number of people for whom the professional is providing care. As this number increases so does the cognitive, sensory, and emotional overload of the professional" (p. 188).

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5 Relative to the roles of principals , Leithwood , Cousins , and Smith (1990) have documented the nature of problems principals typically encounter during the course of a school year . Interviews with 11 elementary school principals and 10 secondary school principals revealed that two-thirds of the principals ' problems centered on the internal workings of the school , its staff and constituents. Leithwood et al. added that the remaining one-third of the principals ' problems arose from aspects of the internal workings of the school , which generally did not require their frequent attention. Of significance , the predom i nant category of problems for principals related to teachers, with the majority of the specific teacher problems having the potential for direct impact on instruction . Following this category were problems encountered with school routines , students , and parents . Student concerns not only included discipline and attendance but also incidences of child abuse and the need for counseling on diploma options . New demands on school leaders today have resulted from the competing demands on how schools should function and be organized (Murphy & Louis , 1999) . In particular , continued pressure toward national and/or state standards has resulted in uniform expectations with regard to student performance and internal school procedures. The public continues to expect accountability and evidence that educational programs are rendering their intended effects (Barth , 1990) . As evidence of these expectations , the Gallup Organization reported the following findings from its survey of 1 , 108 adults regarding the public ' s attitudes toward the public schools. Fifty-four percent of the respondents

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6 favored not renewing the contract of the principal if the public school in their community did not show progress toward meeting state-approved standards for student learning (Rose & Gallup , 2001 ). Similarly , in a sample of 1 , 000 adults , 56% of the respondents surveyed by Rose and Gallup in 2002 again favored the non-renewal of principals ' contracts for failure to meet state-approved standards for student learning . The public ' s demand for this accountability and performance has resulted in a dramatic increase in the emphasis on alternatives to the traditional public school education , including charter schools , home education , school choice , and vouchers . Consequently, these growing alternatives have necessitated an additional role for principals , one that involves marketing public education in order to secure appropriate financial and psychological support (Doud & Keller , 1998) . Coupled with the aforementioned demands for uniformity and accountability , there has simultaneously been the expectation that school governance and organization be decentralized, with committees of teachers and parents ultimately determining what should be taught and how the school should be run. Barth (1990) has added that principals continue to adjust to this shared authority with school improvement teams , teachers , parents , and students . Accompanying these opposing pursuits of uniformity and decentralization has been the challenge for school leaders to provide an educational system that i s market driven and responsive to the demands of the consumers . As principa l s have weighed out these competing charges , they have had to deal with what this means in their role, to the organization of the school , and their ability to adap t to

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7 change (Murphy & Louis, 1999). Relative to these competing obligations, Pines and Aronson (1988) have found that occupational stress is often related to the need to feel that work is meaningful and successful. The most stressful aspects stem from the frustrated hopes and expectations, as well as the obstacles that prevent individuals from reaching their goals. Barth (1990) articulated the generalization that the "work life of a principal is depleting" (p. 66). He emphasized, "The responsibility for the education and physical safety of hundreds of other people's children for 10 months a year presents extraordinary personal and professional difficulties, which take their toll on the effectiveness of school leaders" (p. 65). The number of hours an individual works has been related to a sense of fatigue, overload, boredom, and stress level (Pines & Aronson, 1988). Doud and Keller (1998) reported that 89% of the K-8 principals surveyed in their 1998 study worked longer than the standard 40-hour work week . Although the mean number of hours worked per day was reported to be 9 , 51 % of the respondents indicated that they spent 10 or more hours each day at school. In addition, 66% of the K-8 principal respondents noted that they spent approximately 8 or fewer additional hours per week in school-related activities. In all, K-8 principals reported in 1998 that they spent, on average, 54 hours per week on school-related activities . Doud and Keller noted that this was an increase from the 51 hours reported in 1988 and the 45 hours reported by K-8 principals in 1978. Stressors are found in all aspects of being a principal, including the nature of the work, the school environment, the interactions with the individuals with

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8 whom principals work, and within their own personalities and dispositions. Varying sources of stress are considered to provoke distinct reactions in different principals (Gmelch & Chan, 1994). Although individuals may differ in their responses to stress , burnout is considered to be unavoidable for almost everyone if uncontrollable and chronic pressures are placed on individuals without adequate support (Pines & Aronson , 1988). Whitaker (1995) has claimed that principals are particularly sensitive to burnout due to the complex nature of their jobs. Burnout negatively impacts personal and professional lives, as well as interpersonal relationships . In all, work stress leading to burnout has threatening outcomes not only for an individual ' s health but also for negative organizational effects (i.e ., decreased job involvement and productivity, lower morale, increased sick leave, and impaired decision making) (Golembiewski , 1996). Whitaker ' s review of the literature has shown significant relationships between principal burnout and the isolation inherent in the principal ' s role, the amount of time and effort expended in the role, role ambiguity, boundary spanning, and the organizational structure of the school system. Despite these relationships, very few studies have been conducted relative to principal burnout. In her study of 107 principals (representing elementary, middle and high school levels), Whitaker noted that 19.6% of the respondents scored high in their emotional exhaustion and 13.1 % high in depersonalization . Principals in the 35-44 year age group had significantly higher scores in these areas. Additional follow-up interviews with principals scoring high in these aforementioned areas

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9 revealed four general themes that contributed to the feelings of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization . These included (a) increasing demands o f the principalship (i.e ., accountability pressures, time management issues , increased paperwork, and tensions related to restructuring) , (b) lack of clarity in roles relative to site-based management and shared decision making , (c) lack of recognition (with a perceived need for more intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and recognition, particularly from the central office) , and (d) decreasing autonomy because of collaborative decision making. Stress has been specified as the second most frequently cited reason for principals desiring to leave their position, noted by 52% of the principal respondents (Barth , 1990). Subsequently, Barth reported that two-thirds of the nation ' s 100,000 principals intended to quit or retire by the turn of the century , with the best principals seeming to be the ones intending to leave . Coinciding with this , Whitaker (1995) reported in her study of principals that slightly over 26% of the principals indicated that they did not plan to remain in the role until retirement. Reasons cited for this intent to leave included emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Deal and Peterson (1994) have affirmed that the pressures presented to today ' s principals do not show signs of lessening in severity. Yet , the importance of strong leadership has consistently been reported in the research on effect i ve and successful schools (Du Four & Eaker, 1992; National Center for Education Statistics , 2000). Relevant to strong leadership, Bennis and Nanus (1985) identified the leader ' s persistence and self-knowledge , willingness to take risks

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10 and accept losses, commitment , consistency and challenge , as well as the leader ' s learning as being essential for successful organizations . Stress has been described as a broad domain that encompasses " how individuals and organizations adjust to their environments ; achieve high levels of performance and health ; and become distressed in various physiological , medical , behavioral , or psychological ways" (Quick , Quick , Nelson , & Hurrell , 1997, pp . 2-3) . The stress response begins with a demand or stressor , triggering a series of psychological and physiological activities. These authors describe this stress response as relating to the "generalized , patterned , unconscious mobilization of the body's natural energy resources when confronted with a demand , or stressor " (p . 3) . Within the stress response, there is first a repositioning of the body ' s resources to where they are needed in the event of an emergency . This aforementioned unconscious mobilization is prompted by the release of catecholamines (primarily adrenaline and noradrenaline) into the bloodstream , arousing the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the endocrine or hormonal systems. The activation of these systems results in the stress response generally experienced with an elevated heart rate, increased respiration and perspiration , and a tightening of the large muscle groups throughout the body . A heightened sense of alertness follows as a result of the reticular activating system in the ancient brain stem . This alertness amplifies the individual ' s vision , hearing , and other sensory processes, enabling the individual to be more aware of the surroundings. Such responses prepare the individual to fight or to flee ,

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11 thus the descriptive fight-or-flight stress response. Next, there is a release of glucose and fatty acids which sustain the individual. Finally, there is a shutting down of the body's emergent and restorative processes (i.e., digestion) during the stress response (Quick et al., 1997). Such processes are necessary for an individual's long-term general health, though not considered to be essential during emergencies. In summary, the mind-body changes that occur during a stress response are intended to lead to an individual's heightened performance. However, Quick et al. caution that when the stress response is not attended to, distress occurs. Early definitions of stress reported throughout the research have been responseor situation-based. However, from the attention directed to stress in the mid-1960s, researchers noted that not all events that were perceived to be stressful actually turned out to be stressful. Similarly, what one individual perceived to be stressful was not necessarily stressful to others. Likewise, when an individual was exposed to the same stressor at different times or under different conditions, his or her reaction to the stressor might have varied significantly (McGrath, 1970a). Response-based definitions of stress were characterized by a specified set of responses , which indicated that the individual or organism was under stress. McGrath (1970a) contended that there were weaknesses with this definition. First , it was proposed that many conditions generally not considered to be stressful (i.e., surprise, passion, exercise) would be classified as stressful based on the response pattern . Secondly, the same response pattern may have

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12 arisen from completely different stimulus situations, which may or may not have been interpreted by the individual as being stressful. For instance, an individual's blood . pressure and heart rate increased with both exercise and in frightening situations. However, the psychological meaning of these two situations was very different for the individual. Situation-based definitions of stress, on the other hand, seemed to avoid the problems associated with response-based definitions of stress because they involved the presence of certain classes of situations. Once again, researchers had difficulty identifying what kinds of situations or what properties of these situations created stress. Of particular interest was how to explain the broad range of individual differences in response to the same, presumably stressful , situation (McGrath, 1970a). Stressors were found to be defined individually , within the context of the individual ' s personal experiences. Appley and Trumbull (1984) , in particular , recognized that categories of stressors or even the same stressor at varying times resulted in differing responses within individuals. These responses varied in their magnitude, duration, orientation and permanence of the effect. Acting in response to these individual differences and the inability to generalize about stressors across individuals , settings , and events , researchers turned their attention to why there were such differences in the responses under seemingly similar situations . Current models of stress have maintained that stress is not intrinsic to the individual or the situation , but rather is a transaction between the two . McGrath (1970a) proposed that stress was the transaction between the organism and its

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13 environment. He compared the social-psychological concept of stress with that of an engineer. In the field of engineering, McGrath noted that stress was the "application of an external force, while the strain it produced was calculated in terms of the substance to which the force was applied" (p . 14). In regard to humans, the stress-strain effect was in relationship to the individual and his or her environment. Stress was not viewed solely as an individual ' s emotional state, but rather as his or her type of reaction to environmental events. Environmental changes would lead to the perception of threat for some individuals; however , changes in the environment would not necessarily lead to threat. While the stress-strain relationship could be borrowed from the field of engineering, there were certain differences between the engineer's use and that of the social-psychological use. For instance, the engineer had the ability to calibrate the forces of stress. In addition, the engineer was able to measure the impact of the environmental stressful forces. Likewise , the engineer merely dealt with the internal conditions of the object, rather than having the added effect of the perceptions of threat of the strain on the object. McGrath (1970b) expanded his early proposition, noting that stress existed when there was an imbalance between the environmental demands and the response capability of the individual or organism . Folkman, Lazarus , Dunkel Schetter, Delongis, and Gruen (1986) recognized that the stress process begins with some sort of demand , which ultimately requires adaptation on the part of the person. This adaptation process commences with the individual ' s awareness of the actual demands . This initial awareness is followed by an appraisal of the

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14 severity and importance of the demand for the individual, or whether he or she has anything at stake in this encounter. The bidirectional relationship between the person and the environment is appraised by the person as either taxing or exceeding his or her resources . Lazarus and Folkman (1984) asserted that perceived or psychological stress would only be produced by environmental demands if the individual anticipated his or her inability to cope with the demand adequately. In contrast, demands were not perceived as stressors or threatening if the individual perceived himor herself as being capable to handle the demands without undue expenditure of resources (whether or not this perception was true) . This imbalance in demand-incapability was viewed as the prerequ i site for psychological stress or the threat of it (McGrath, 1970b ) . Sells (1970) also conveyed that stress arose when the individual was called upon to respond to a situation in which he or she did not have the adequate response available . This unavailability may have been due to phys i cal inadequacy , absence of the response in the individual ' s repertoire of responses , or lack of training , equipment , or opportunity to prepare. Likewise , stress occurred when the consequences of this inability to respond appropriately were particularly important to the individual. The intensity of the stress was also dependent upon the importance of the individual ' s involvement and the individual ' s assessment of the consequences for being unable to respond effectively to the situation. Various personality characteristics also helped to define whether an individual would identify the stressful transaction as having relevance to his or her well-being , including his or her values , commitments ,

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15 goals, and beliefs about himself . Folkman et al. (1986) referred to the individual ' s evaluation of the relevance of a situation as primary appraisal. This primary appraisal is followed by the individual's secondary appraisal. The latter appraisal pertained to the individual ' s evaluation of the adequacy of the resources possessed for coping with the demand . If the individual ' s resources seemed adequate for coping with the demand , the demand would be dealt w i th in a positive, healthy manner. In contrast, when there was an imbalance between the perceived demands and the individual ' s perceived resources , stress resulted (Matheny , Aycock , & McCarthy , 1993) . The assumption that individuals actively respond to forces impinging upon them has been a change in thought from earlier research in which individuals were considered to be passive recipients in the stress and strain process (Lazarus , 1991 ) . Although coping has taken on a variety of conceptual meanings , it has been referred to as the "things that people do to avoid being harmed by life-strains " (Pearlin & Schooler , 1978 , p . 2). Expanding on the definition of coping, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) later referred to coping as the process , or varying cognitive and behavioral efforts, an individual utilizes to regulate internal and external demands. Most importantly, these demands are viewed as having the potential to drain or exceed the individual ' s resources. With this definition of coping in mind , Pearlin and Schooler emphasized the importance of studying coping in the context of the challenges in which individuals encounter them and the potential emotional impact or distress of these challenges.

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16 The behaviors , responses , and efforts in the coping process that help protect individuals from being psychologically harmed by challenging experiences are said to mediate the impact that the environment has on the individual. In order to understand the construct of coping as a mediator , it is important to outline the various dimensions. In the broad sense , coping refers to any response to external life-strains (i.e ., conflicts , frustrations , threats) that function to impede, circumvent , or control emotional distress . Under the broad definition of coping , coping responses are distinguished from coping resources. Coping responses are the specific perceptions , cognitions , and behaviors a person uses when actually contending with and adjusting to personal life stressors (Lepore & Evans , 1996 ; Pearlin & Schooler , 1978) . Such coping responses function to change the situation from which a life-strain arises , to control the meaning of the life-strain after it occurs but before stress emerges , or , finally , to control the emergent stress itself (Pearlin & Schooler , 1978) . Although coping responses represent the things that individuals do in order to deal with the stressors they encounter, coping resources , on the other hand, refer to what is available specific to the individual ' s coping repertoire (Lepore & Evans , 1996; Pearlin & Schooler , 1978) . The efforts an individual undertakes prior to a particular stressor, involving the accumulation of resources and the acquisition of skills , has been called proactive coping (Aspinwall & Taylor , 1997). Just as various definitions of stress and coping have been noted , various definitions of coping resources exist. In their study of stress coping , Matheny ,

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17 Aycock , Pugh, Curlette , and Silva Cannella (1986) defined coping resources as the properties , or characteristics, an individual possesses or utilizes to minimize the probability that demands will be perceived as stressors , as well as increase the effectiveness of the individual ' s coping behaviors . In their meta-analysis of the experimental and non-experimental studies of stress coping, Matheny et al. proposed an integrative model of stress and coping that included both efforts to combat and to prevent stress . These researchers attempted to provide a taxonomy of the specific coping behaviors and resources found to be most useful in combating and preventing the stress response . Strategies to deal with encountered stressors, the resulting stress response, and one ' s reactions to the stressors were called combative coping . In contrast , preventive coping referred to the strategies aimed at the prevention of demands being perceived as stressors, as well as the strategies that were to increase the individual ' s resistance to the effects of stress . The taxonomy proposed by Matheny et al. also incorporated coping behaviors and coping resources . Coping behaviors were defined as the actions taken to manage the stressors that individuals encountered and their reaction to them . Coping resources were described as conditions or characteristics that decreased the chance that demands would be perceived as stressors and that increased the effectiveness of coping behaviors . Subsequently , Matheny et al. emphasized the importance of preventive measures . McCarthy , Lambert , and Brack (1997) have suggested that preventive coping resources may allow an individual to control or modify the nature of daily

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18 stressors or demands encountered , the individual ' s perceptions about t hese stressors or demands once they have been encountered , and the individual ' s assessment of the ability to handle the demands . Expanding upon the work of Lazarus and Folkman , as well as Matheny ' s research , McCarthy , Lambert , Beard , and Dematatis (2001) proposed a model of prevention relative to stress and coping , that depicts the integration of the transactional model of the stress process and the role of preventive coping resources . This model (as shown in Figure 1-1) helps to clarify the hypothesized influence of preventive coping resources on po t entially stressful events . Within Figure 1-1 , McCarthy et al. identified the points at which preventive resources were surmised to influence potentially stressful events , as noted by the dashed lines. Specifically , these researchers have suggested that preventive coping resources may allow one to regulate or adap t the nature of daily stressors or demands encountered (displayed by the dashed line from preventive coping resources to life events ) . In addition , McCarthy et al. suggest that preventive coping resources may allow for the altering of the perceptions an individual has about demands once such demands are encountered (noted with a dashed line from preventive coping resources to awareness of demands). Thirdly , preventive coping resources may allow one to modify the appraisal of the individual ' s ability to handle the demands (represented with a dashed line from preventive coping resources to appraisal) . McCarthy et al. (2001) describe demands as stressors imposed upon an individual by other i ndividuals or by oneself. Such demands may derive from life changes , role requirements , daily hassles , or self-imposed obligations . As

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19 depicted in Figure 1-1 , the preventive coping resources one possesses may influence an individual ' s awareness of the demands . Specifically , McCarthy and Lambert (1999) found that individuals possessing sufficient levels of preventive coping resources may interpret demands as less threatening , thus avo i ding the stress response i n general. Next , the awareness of a demand is followed by an appraisal of its potential threat , as described earlier in the research by Folkman et a l. ( 1 979) . Within Figure 1-1 , primary appraisals are directed towards demands , while secondary appraisals are directed towards coping resources . Matheny et al. (1986) proposed that within the primary appraisal process, demands would be viewed as challenges that energized the person to optimal functioning , if the individual ' s secondary appraisal of their coping resources was roughly equivalent to or greater than the nature of the demand (shown as R~D in Figure 1-1) . In contrast , if the perceived demands exceeded the resources available in the individual ' s secondary appraisal (R
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20 contrast, emotion-focused strategies aim at diminishing the individual's reaction to the stressor or their stress response (as noted in Figure 1-1). In summary , McCarthy's model attempts to demonstrate the importance of preventive coping resources as means of minimizing negative events and concerns, in the interpretation of demands so as to minimize the stress response, and in the individual's perception of the ability to control demands by taking proactive steps . Preventive Coping +-Prevention Resources "' , ....... , ... ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Coping Resources Secondary Appraisal Primary Appra i sal (Life changes , role requirements . hassles ) R < D Combat i ve Cop i ng Resources Problem Focused Emo t ion Focused Coping Str a tegies Coping Strategies Optima l Functioning Figure 1-1 . Hypothesized model of prevention in stress and coping. (McCarthy et al., 2001) Studies have addressed to a limited degree what the sources of stress are for principals and to a lesser degree what their coping strategies are once stress is perceived or experienced . However, the role of prevention in coping has been neglected. Additional studies are needed to identify the relationships among principal characteristics , school demographic variables, the preventive coping resources possessed and used by public school principals, as well as the relationship between these preventive coping resources and principals' stress

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21 levels. As the study of the construct of preventive coping resources has only begun , additional research is needed to determine this construct ' s potential as a mediating variable in relation to administrator stress levels. Subsequently , Figure 1-2 depicts the conceptual model for this study . Solid lines represent points in the model where preventive coping resources might be most relevant in account i ng for the relation between the antecedent variables and the outcome variables . More specifically, in an effort to investigate the extent to which preven t ive coping resources may account for differences in principals ' stress levels , this study was guided by a mediational model proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986). Within the model , "a given variable may be said to function as a mediator to the extent that it accounts for the relation between the predictor and the criterion " (p. 1176) . Specifically , a variable functions as a mediator when the following conditions occur: (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive relationships or associations with the presumed mediator , (b) variations in the mediator account for variations in the outcome variable, and (c) the antecedent variables are associated with the outcome variable . If these three conditions are demonstrated in the predicted direction, then when the mediator is added , any previous association between the antecedent and outcome variables is no longer significant. Mediation is considered to be strongest when there is no longer any relationship between the antecedent and outcome variables .

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ANTECEDENT VARIABLES Principal Characte ri stics Gender (x1) Years of experience as a pr i ncipal (x2) Number of hours worked per week (x3) ANTECEDENT VARIABLES School Demographics District enrollment group (x.) 22 School level ( elementary , middle / jr . , high) ( x 5 ) School enrollment (>
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23 coping resources of principals in relation to their level of stress . The following section delineates the specific questions , hypotheses, and model that guided this research project. Question 1 What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in Florida? Question 2 What are the current preventive coping resources of public school principals in Florida? Hypothesis 1 Principal characteristics (i.e ., gender , years of experience as a principal , and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables (district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment) are related to principals ' preventive coping resources . Hypothesis 2 Principals ' preventive coping resources are related to their stress leve l s , with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and variety of preventive coping resources . Hypothesis 3 Principals ' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between principal characteristics (i.e. , gender, number of years of experience as a principal , number of hours worked per week) , school demographic variables

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24 (i.e., district enrollment group , school level, and school enrollment) , and principals ' stress levels . Questions 1 and 2 provided descriptions of the various sources of stress reported by principals and the preventive coping resources principals uti l ize. Hypotheses 1 through 3 involved the steps recommended by Baron and Kenny when testing for mediation. Specifically, Hypothesis 1 addressed step one of the model , regressing the mediating variable on the two sets of antecedent variables. Hypothesis 2 addressed the second step of the model, regressing the outcome variable on the mediating variable. Finally, Hypothesis 3 addressed step three of the model, regressing the outcome variable on both the antecedent and mediating variables. Glossary of Terms This section includes the definitions of the terms that were used in this study. Coping is the process , or varying cognitive and behavioral efforts , an individual utilizes to regulate internal and external demands viewed as having the potential to drain or exceed the individual ' s resources for dealing with these demands (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) . Coping resources are the prerequisites or characteristics an individual possesses or utilizes in order to minimize the probability that demands will be perceived as stressors and that increase the effectiveness of the individual ' s coping behaviors (Matheny , Aycock , Pugh , Curlette, & Cannella , 1986) . Enrollment groups are defined by the Florida Department of Education based on the enrollment of students within the districts . Small districts are

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25 defined as those districts with less than 7,000 students . Medium/Small districts have between 7 , 000 and 19,999 students . Medium districts are defined as having 20 , 000 to 39,999 students . Large districts enroll 40 , 000 to 100 , 000 students. Lastly, Very Large districts are defined as having greater than 100 , 000 students enrolled (Florida Department of Education , 2001 ) . Preventive coping resources are the individual's assets or capabilities that allow them to control or modify the demands they encounter , the perceptions they have about these demands once they are encountered , as well as their appraisal of their ability to handle the demands (McCarthy , Lambert , Beard , & Dematatis, 2001 ) . Principals are the primary building level administrators on a school campus charged with the responsibilities of efficient and effective operation of the school , as well as the provision of instructional programs focused on student learning (NAESP , 1997 , 2001) . School enrollment is the number of full time equivalent students ( FTE ) reported to the Florida Department of Education. School levels denote whether the school is an elementary , middle/jun i or , high school, or combination of levels. Stress refers to the relationship between an individual and the environment that is appraised as draining one ' s resources , as well as the individual ' s physiological and psychological adjustments to the stressors (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984 ; McCarthy, Lambert , & Brack , 1997).

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26 Stressors are the various situations, events, and thoughts that elicit the stress response (McCarthy, Lambert , & Brack, 1997). Significance of the Study Despite what is known about the varied and multiple roles and demands on principals, and resultant stress, the presumed influence of preventive coping resources on administrative stress has not been explored . Although a multitude of research has been conducted relevant to stress, far less research has been devoted to the study of coping resources, with significantly less attention to preventive coping . In 2002 , an electronic browse using Psyc/NFO of all items relevant to the keyword "stress " showed 66 , 948 entries. In contrast , 27 , 855 items were found relevant to the keyword "coping ." As the search narrowed more specifically to "coping resources ," the available literature reduced significantly to 2 , 007 entries . Finally , with entries specific to the keywords "preventive coping resources," the search narrowed to 32 items . Given the directives for accountability standards , opportunities for school choice, principals ' changing role demands, and increasing task expectations for principals , additional research is imperative . Strategies offered to principals for the management of their stress have typically overlooked the potential role of preventive coping resources for controlling or modifying principals' perceptions of their ability to handle such demands. Further research is needed to describe the preventive coping resources currently used by principals, to summarize the current sources of stress for public school principals in Florida , and to extend what is known about the association between preventive coping resources and stress. In addition , findings of the study may contribute to the knowledge base

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27 relative to the continued success of principals in their ability to deal with potentially stressing or demanding situations in the principalship. Specifically, researchers have not investigated the preventive coping resources and stressors of public school principals in Florida. Nor has the relationship between personal characteristics and environmental variables on principals' preventive coping resources and stressors been investigated. Specifically, the association between various preventive coping resources and school principals ' stress levels, when controlling for the effects of various principal characteristics and school demographic variables warrants further study. In addition, the possible mediational role of preventive coping resources, relative to stress, was investigated in this study. In view of the increasing roles, task expectations, and demands being placed on public school principals today, findings from this study described the preventive coping resources possessed and utilized by public school principals i"n Florida. The relationships between these preventive coping resources and administrator stress levels were analyzed. In addition, this study provided a rationale for the need for further development of preventive coping resources in principals and provided implications for further research in this area. Results of the study added to the body of knowledge relative to principal selection, assignment, and retention; suggested areas of administrative support; as well as further professional development activities.

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28 Delimitations and Limitations of the Study This section identifies the delimitations and limitations for this study . Delimitations 1 . The study was conducted in school districts in Florida. Results were not generalized to other states or areas in the United States . 2. The data were collected from public school principals . Therefore , no generalizations from the study were made to other educational administrators . 3 . Although attention and effort were directed to assuring that the sample of principals for the current study was representative of the popula t ion of public school principals, conclusions and inferences drawn were generalized to the total population of school principals. 4. The study was limited to data gathered during the 2001-2002 school year. Therefore , conclusions and inferences made from this study were not generalized to other time periods. 5. For the purposes of this study, public school principals ' stress and stressors were operationally defined using the Administrative Stress Index . Bearing in mind that different definitions of stress and stressors exist , caution should continue to be used when comparing the results of this study to other studies that utilize different definitions for investigating stress and stressors. 6 . Preventive coping resources were operationally defined and assessed using the Preventive Resources Inventory. As different models of coping and definitions of coping resources exist , construct validity was considered a justifiable consideration. Likewise, caution should be used when comparing the results of this study to other studies that utilize different models for investigating an individual ' s coping resources. 7 . Caution is warranted in inferring causal relations from this non experimental, correlation-based study obtained through the use of self report measures. Limitations This section includes the limitations that were recognized within this s t udy. 1. The limitations of self-report procedures and surveys, as noted by Wallen and Fraenkel (2001 ) ; Burns (2000); Gall , Borg , and Gall (1996) ;

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29 Judd, Smith, and Kidder (1991 ), were kept in mind when the results and interpretations were noted. 2. The assumption was made that the principals had common understandings of the terminology in the Administrative Stress Index and the Preventive Resources Inventory . 3 . The assumption was made that the principal respondents accurately responded on the self-rating of their coping resources, stressors, and stress levels. Organization of the Remainder of the Study This chapter has provided an introduction of the study , statement of the problem, purpose of the study, glossary of terms, delimitations and limitations of the study, and the significance of the study. Chapter 2 contains a detailed review of the literature pertaining to the current theories related to stress and current models of coping. Chapter 3 presents an overview of the methodology and design that were utilized to study the research questions. In Chapter 4, the results of the data analyses are presented. Lastly, the researcher provides a discussion of the results and conclusions of the study, implications for the educational field, and suggestions for future research in Chapter 5.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Chapter 1 provided an overview of the study , including a statement of the problem , the significance of the study, the research questions , and the intended purpose. Specifically , the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and the prevent i ve coping resources of principals in relation to their overall level of stress . Chapter 2 provides a review of the literature: an introduction to the literature on stress and coping , an overview of the historical models of stress , and the components of current models of stress . Likewise , the stress , appraisal , and coping process is delineated . Finally , reviews of the literature relevant to the principalship and stress in the workplace , coping , and coping resources are offered . Introduction to Stress and Coping Within the engineering discipline , a force (or load) is applied to an ob j ect , creating stress (or the way the load impinges on the object). This stress then results in strain (or the resulting deformation of the object). Of particular interest to the engineer in the analysis of inputs and outputs is the elasticity of mater i als , with materials resisting deformation until they break. This tension or strain in the physical object , noted by the engineer , has been compared with stress in living beings . Stress creates a biological disequilibrium which drives physiological and behavioral efforts to restore the disturbed disequilibrium. Further research and 30

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31 analyses through the years have shown that just as some materials resist breaking because of their elasticity, some individuals also resist psychic distress and dysfunction because of high stress tolerances. This simple input-output engineering model has centered on what the environment or stimulus does to an object, with a parallel drawn between the inanimate objects and passive living creatures (Lazarus, 1991 ). However, the original 17th century engineering model of stress and strain was limited in its scope. For example, it failed to consider what the individual might actively do to contribute to the outcome, one's motivation, and the way in which the individual defined and evaluated relationships in the environment. The more accurate model considers this active role of the individual. The progression in research has resulted in a shift in thinking from an earlier stimulus-response formulation to one that is more subjective, transactional, and process oriented. With this shift, Lazarus (1991) surmised that individuals engage in an appraisal process, evaluating the significance of what is happening. Rather than a passive recipient in transactions, Lazarus postulated that the individual is an active agent in transactions that have personal relevance. This process of appraisal is reportedly influenced by both environmental and personality variables. Within Lazarus's transactional model of stress, primary appraisal refers to whether what is happening is personally relevant to the individual; whereas secondary appraisal refers to the individual's coping options. Lazarus has concluded that actual, anticipated, or imagined challenges requiring some adaptation within an individual's environment are appraised by the

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32 individual as being of either positive or negative significance. The nature and intensity of an individual ' s emotions or responses were , subsequently , the results of the individual ' s appraisal to these challenges . Lazarus (1991) added that the quality and intensity of an individual ' s emotional responses depended on the coping process. Coping has been defined as the individual ' s " cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and internal demands (and conflicts between them) that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person " (Lazarus, p . 112) . In brief , the coping process refers to what one thinks and does to alter the challenging person environment relationship . It is this coping process that ultimately changes either the relationship , or the evaluation of the significance of what is happening or the way the situation is appraised , thus changing the individual ' s resultant emotions . The Concept of Stress Stress has been associated with all types of activity . The term " stress " continues to mean different things to different individuals , with the connotation generally being negative. It is difficult to define in light of these different interpretations , as well as the fact that it is an abstract construct , rather than a tangible object. Yet , despite these differences and difficulties in defining the construct , it is one that is used daily in our vocabulary. For the purposes of this study, stress will be defined as "the body ' s physiological and psychological adjustments to stressors " (McCarthy , Lambert , & Brack , 1997 , p . 54). Likewise, demands will refer to "requirements imposed either by oneself or others "

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33 (McCarthy et al. , p. 54) . Stressors will refer to th . e "wide array of situations , events , and thoughts that trigger the stress response " (McCarthy et al. , p . 54 ) . _ Activity associated with stress may be viewed as pleasant or unpleasant , though something that should not necessarily be avoided. In fact , Selye (1974) stated that " complete freedom from stress is death" (p. 32). Although stress generally has a negative connotation, it was noted as early as 1908 through the work of Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, that stress can have positive , healthy effects on an individual ' s performance. The positive , constructive outcome of stressful events and the stress response was termed " eustress " (Quick , Quick , Nelson, & Hurrell , 1997 , p. 4). Yerkes and Dodson noted that an individual ' s performance rose with increasing stress to a certain point. However , when the stress load became too great , the individual ' s performance then decreased. This relationship between stress load and individual performance became known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law and is generally depicted by an inverted " U. " It was further asserted that the stress load would vary and be individual to each person dependent upon individual and task factors . Considerations for the individual included one ' s physical capacity , susceptibility to stress, fatigue level , as well as psychological and cognitive skills . Considerations related to the task included complexity, duration , difficulty , intensity , as well as knowledge and experience with the task. Situations or tasks that provoked little stress or arousal often did not impel performance , whereas situations or tasks that were too stressful or complex impeded performance .

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34 The contributing factor commonly viewed in the quickening of the strain is the previously described " distress " or unhealthy stress and stress response . This factor likewise contributes to departure from healthy functioning and to physiological , psychological , and behavioral disorders. This individual d i stress and strain , in turn , have implications for organizations. Commonly expressed directly or indirectly , responses are absenteeism, tardiness , turnover , poor performance on the job , health care costs , low morale or motivation , communication breakdowns, faulty decision making, or poor working relationships (Quick et al. , 1997) . Historical Models of Stress Research related to stress has evolved through the years , focusing initially on the physical , medical and physiological aspects , noted in Hooke ' s , Selye ' s and Cannon ' s work ; and elaborating later on the psychological aspects of the stress concept. This research has generally fallen into two categories : (a) physiological , coined by Selye , in which stress was defined as the reaction of the organism to some sort of external threat; and (b) transactional, in which stress was defined as the " outcome of interactions between the organism and the environment " (Singer & Davidson , 1984, p. 48) . The earliest definitions of stress were either stimulusor response-based . Stimulus definitions emphasized the events in the environment and assumed that certain situations were stressful for all individuals. No distinction was made in the stimulus-based definition to the role of individual differences in the evaluation of these events . On the other hand , response definitions referred to the individual ' s

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35 state of being stressed . The individual ' s response to a stimulus was considered to be stressful if it was produced by a demand , threat, harm, or load (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984) . French physiologist Claude Bernard first noted during the second half of the 19th century that a living organism must remain fairly constant despite changes in its external environment if it is to remain healthy and survive . Similarly, Walter B . Cannon suggested that the physiological processes should remain static or in a state of " homeostasis " (Selye , 1974) . Cannon was particularly interested in the relationship between emotional and psychological states and physiological responses. While working with laboratory animals in 1915 , Cannon hypothesized that under stressful situations there were psychophysiological activities that were occurring , designated as the " emergency reaction ." Although the research by Yerkes and Dodson , related to stress load and optimal performance , preceded the identification of the stress response , it was Cannon ' s discoveries in 1932 that set the stage for the fight-or-flight response , as well as the implication that the degree of stress could be measured (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984 ; Quick et al. , 1997) . Following Cannon ' s work , Selye began investigating the effects of environmental stress on humans and other animals in 1932. It was his work that played a prominent role in an expanded interest in the study of stress . Selye (1974) defined stress as "the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it " (p . 27) . In order to aid understanding of stress , Selye distinguished between specific and nonspecific responses. Specific responses referred to the

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36 unique actions one's body underwent as a result of a demand . For instance , the blood vessels in the skin would contract to diminish the loss of heat from the body surface when the body was exposed to cold. Similarly, our bodies perspire when exposed to heat , creating a cooling effect when this sweat evaporated from the skin surface . Selye also noted that when exposed to an agent , situation , or demand , there were not only resultant specific actions, but also increases in nonspecific actions . These nonspecific actions helped us adapt and return to a sense of normalcy following the predictable specific bodily responses . This latter demand for action or activity was viewed as the core of stress. It was the intensity of the demand for readjustment or adaptation on the body that mattered , rather than whether the situation or demand was viewed as pleasant or unpleasant. Selye ' s research provided the first evidence of the body's limited adaptability and ability to withstand stressors . He was able to identify specific physiological indicators of stress , including adrenal enlargement , thymus atrophy or shrinkage , and gastrointestinal ulcers. Selye ' s laboratory studies in 1936 showed that rats underwent a stereotyped response or organ changes when exposed to various adverse stimuli. This response included the enlargement and hyperactivity of the adrenal cortex , shrinkage of the thymus gland and lymph nodes, and the appearance of gastrointestinal ulcers. Ultimately , Selye ' s animal experiments delineating the similarities in the changes when under stress became known as the " general adaptation syndrome " (G . A.S.) or the biological

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37 stress syndrome . This syndrome consisted of three phases: (1) the alarm reaction ; (2) the stage of resistance ; and (3) the stage of exhaustion (Selye , p . 38). During the alarm reaction , the body showed changes consistent with those evidenced when first exposed to a stressor . The body ' s resistance may be diminished , and if the stressor was particularly strong , death may have occurred. In the second stage , or the stage of resistance , resistance arose i f the individual ' s means of adaptation were compatible with the stressor. The bodily signs that first appeared during the alarm reaction had disappeared , and resistance rose above normal. However , if the body continued to be exposed to the same stressor , despite having become adjusted to it initially , eventually the adaptation energy was exhausted with the signs of the alarm reaction reappearing. This time , however , the body changes were irreversible and the individual died . Selye compared the three stages to that of the stages in life : childhood , characterized by low resistance and excessive responses to any kind of stimuli ; adulthood , in which adaptation to most situations has occurred and resistance increases ; and finally senility , characterized by one ' s exhaustion , by irreversible loss of adaptability , exhaustion , and by the individual ' s eventual death. It was the discovery of the G.A.S . three-phase response pattern that gave evidence of the l i mitations of the body ' s adaptability or adaptation energy . That is , stressors could only be withstood for so long . Selye noted that " just as an y inanimate machine gradually wears out, even if it has enough fuel, so does the human machine sooner or later become the victim of constant wear and tear "

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38 (p . 39). Singer and Davidson (1984) expanded on Selye ' s work , noting that Selye ' s model of nonspecificity implied that the effects of stress were cumulative . This meant that each incident of stress left traces of the effects that built up as one was exposed to other stressors . This residue was not considered to present a challenge to the individual , except in those situations when the stressor continued or the individual ' s adaptive abilities were low . Stress and Coping : Current Perspectives World War II propelled further theories and research on stress. In particular, the military were interested in the effects of stress on individuals ' ability to function during combat. Specifically , the military hypothesized that if soldiers were more vulnerable to injury and death , as a result of stress , then , the entire combat group's potential efficacy in action would be diminished. Again , during the Korean War , new studies were directed at the effects of stress on physiological changes and skilled performance. Emphasis was placed on selecting less vulnerable combat personnel and in the development of interventions to help military personnel function more effectively under stress . Finally, the psychological and physiological effects of combat stress were studied during the Vietnam War (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Cannon ' s and Selye ' s work had influenced the studies of combat stress , focusing primarily on the physiological and medical aspects of stress and the stress response . The interest in the effects of stress on individuals had been stimulated by World War II and the Korean War. It was apparent that individuals ' performance under stress was not uniformly impaired or facilitated. Rather ,

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39 individuals' performances became more varied with stress, some doing better and others doing worse with stress. It became apparent to researchers that the prediction of an individual ' s performance while under stress required much attention to the psychological processes that created the individual differences in their responses. As a result, researchers shifted their attention toward the relationship between the person and the environment, or the person factors and the processes intervening between the stressor and the individual responses . Studies began investigating stress-related processes, rather than individuals ' performance when under stress . Beginning in the 1960s, the role of coping in stress adaptation began to grow (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Researchers began looking at the psychological aspects of stress, life events, and their connection to stress; searching for answers as to why individual differences were noted under similar situations (Quick et al., 1997) . Having recognized the active role of the individual in response to stress, Kahn (1970) studied stress in terms of both individuals and organizations , seeing both as objects of stress and as active responders to stress. Kahn noted that the stress response was a sequence of events, beginning in the environment. First there was some sort of demand which the environment placed upon either the individual or organization . Secondly, this demand was received by or recognized by the individual or organization. The individual or organization ' s immediate response to this demand varied behaviorally, emotionally, affectively, and physiologically. Kahn surmised that such immediate responses were to be distinguished from the enduring, or long-term, consequences of the stress . With

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40 this model, Kahn was particularly interested in whether individuals were able to appraise accurately what was happening to them , as well as whether the individual ' s capacities for dealing with future stress would be diminished , remain the same , or be enhanced. Stress, Appraisal, and Coping Lazarus ' s early work on stress in the 1960s suggested that stress should be viewed as an " organizing concept" in order to understand the various events occurring within the adaptational process. Stress was described as a category of variables and processes. As such , in the 1970s , readers began noting categories of stress relating to environmental stress, occupational stress , physiological stress , social stress , and stress reactions (Appley & Trumbull , 1984) . Even though certain environmental pressures and demands are likely to evoke stress in a number of people , differences in the reactions and degree of reactions amongst individuals and groups are also noted . In order to understand these differences among individuals in seemingly similar conditions , researchers must consider the cognitive processes that transpire between the challenge and the reaction , as well as the factors that mediate the relationship between these two (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984) . Psychological stress was referred to as the relationship between the person and the environment. This relationship was appraised by the individual as either damaging to their well-being, or , draining of their resources. Whether the individual judged a particular person-environment relationship to be stressful or not was contingent upon cognitive appraisal. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have

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41 described cognitive appraisal as an " evaluative process that determines why and to what extent a particular transaction or series of transactions between the person and environment is stressful" (p. 19). The significance of an experience was evaluated in terms of its meaning to the individual ' s well-being . Primary appraisal. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) distinguish between three kinds of primary appraisals : (a) irrelevant, (b) benign-positive, and (c) stressful. Irrelevant appraisals carry no implication for the individual ' s well-being . There is nothing to be gained or lost in this type of transaction, as it does not affect the individual's values , needs or commitments. Secondly , benign-positive appraisals occur if the outcome of the occurrence is positive for the individual. Specifically , benign-positive appraisals enhance or assure the improvement of an individual ' s well-being . Finally , Lazarus and Folkman describe stress appraisals as those involving some form of harm/loss, threat, or challenge. Within harm/loss stress appraisals, some form of damage to the person has already occurred . For instance , there may be a loss of a loved one or damage to the individual ' s self esteem . Threat stress appraisals relate to those losses that have not yet taken place, yet are anticipated by the individual. This latter type of stress appraisal allows for anticipatory coping on the part of the individual , distinguishing it from harm/loss stress appraisals, where there is not the opportunity for anticipatory coping. Threat appraisals are generally associated with negative emotions such as anger , fear , or anxiety : The last form of stress appraisal, challenge , focuses on the potential for gain or growth as a result of the encounter . Again , this type of

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42 appraisal entails the mobilization of coping efforts . As opposed to threat stress appraisals , however , challenges generally invoke pleasurable emotions . Secondary appraisal. This appraisal activity is an essential component of every stressful encounter , because the outcome of the encounter depends on what is at stake , as well as what can be done. This evaluative process takes into consideration which coping options are available , the likelihood that it will accomplish what it is supposed to, and the likeliness that the individual can apply the appropriate set of strategies effectively (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984) . The individual's primary appraisal of what is personally at stake in the encounter is combined with the secondary appraisal of the available coping options. This complex interaction determines the degree of stress and the strength and quality of the individual's emotional reactions. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have noted that if an individual has a high stake in the outcome of an encounter or if the individual is helpless to deal with the demand, the level of stress will be high because the harm/loss appraisal will not be prevented or overcome. In all, the aforementioned appraisal process influences the coping process, and in turn , how the individual reacts emotionally . Reappraisal. A changed appraisal based on the gathering of new information from the person or the environment is called reappraisal (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984 ) . This appraisal follows an initial appraisal. The changes in the individual's appraisal may also stem from cognitive coping efforts. The latter reappraisals are called defensive reappraisals and may be difficult to distinguish from those reappraisals that are based on new information .

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43 Related to the stress and appraisal process is the adequacy of an individual ' s resources . Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have noted that a deficit in resources makes an individual psychologically sensitive to stress , if the deficit refers to someth i ng that matters . An individual ' s vulnerability is described as a potential threat that escalates to an active threat when something of value is put in jeopardy . Specifically , it is the combination of the lack of resources as well as the relationship between the individual ' s obligations and the matching appropriation of resources that defines psychological vulnerability . Person factors influencing the appraisal process. Lazarus and Folkman ( 1984) have identified two characteristics that shape the appraisal process: commitments and beliefs . The former expresses what is important to the individual or what is at stake to the individual in a stressful encounter . The relationship between the propensity for harm or threat is directly related to the individual ' s level of commitment. The deeper the individual ' s level of commitment , the greater the potential for threat or harm. Such commitments shape the choices that individuals make or are prepared to make in order to maintain highly valued goals or ideals . Specifically , individuals ' commitments guide them into or away from situations that may challenge , threaten , benefit or harm them . On the other hand , the strength of the commitment may also urge the individual to move toward some action that can reduce the threat or move them toward greater coping efforts . In brief, as the strength of the commitment increases , the individual becomes more vulnerable to psychological stress in that area of commitment. Similarly , the degree to which the individual shows

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44 commitment determines the amount of effort the person is willing to put forth to ward off any potential threats to that commitment (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984 ). A second person factor influencing the appraisal process is beliefs (Lazarus & Folkman , 1984) . These preexisting fundamentals shape the individual ' s understanding of what is and how things are in the appraisal process . As beliefs are often taken for granted , their role in shaping the appraisal process is generally unnoticed . Situation factors influencing the appraisal process . Individual variations in the extent that individuals appraise a situation as stressful relate to the interrelationship between the aforementioned person factors and the following situation factors . Specifically , Lazarus and Folkman (1984) considered novelty , predictability, and event uncertainty to be situation factors influencing the appraisal process . In addition , three temporal factors need to be considered : imminence , duration , and temporal uncertainty . Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have found that if a situation is completely novel to an individual and has no negative psychological associations, it will not result in a threat appraisal. Nor will the situation result in an appraisal of challenge if it has not been connected with mastery or gain . In contrast , a novel situation would be considered stressful if it was associated with previous threat, danger , or harm . Predictability was found to be linked with the possibility of anticipatory cop i ng. However, a shift from predictable to unpredictable events was considered to be highly stressful for people , with physiological changes noted. Lazarus and Folkman found that not knowing whether an event was going

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45 to occur , identified as unpredictability , created conflicting feelings and behaviors in the appraisal process. This unpredictability sometimes led to feelings of helplessness and confusion for the individual. Temporal factors were also considered to be influential in the appraisal process . Specifically , Lazarus and Folkman (1984) noted that the intensity of appraisal increased as an event became more imminent. In contrast , less imminent events were associated with more complex appraisal processes. With more time to appraise the situation, individuals have the opportunity and tend to think through and reappraise the encounter . The individuals have the choice to reflect, avoid the problem, encompass a greater variety of coping resources , take action, or make efforts to gain self-control. A second temporal factor to consider is duration . This refers to the length of a stressful event. Lazarus and Folkman assumed that chronic and lengthy stressors eventually wore down the individual , both physiologically and psychologically . Finally, the research relative to the role of temporal uncertainty is limited . However , the researchers contend that when an individual knows when an event is to occur, their attention is directed to the event , with less avoidant type coping demonstrated. This ultimately results in a lower stress response . Finally , Lazarus and Folkman contend that when information is less than clear or is insufficient , the situation is described as ambiguous . Ambiguity can then be identified as a source of threat to the individual due to the increased sense of helplessness over the possibility of danger , threat, or harm .

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46 Coping Coping has been defined as "the process through which the individual manages the demands of the person-environment relationship that are appraised as stressful and the emotions they generate " (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 19). Folkman , Schaefer , and Lazarus (1979) noted that within the coping process , the individual would try to alter the person-environment relationship through problem solving , or, regulate their reaction to the stress. For the most part, individuals tend to be effective in their coping process across various circumstances . However , on occasion , individuals may not have the requisite skills to cope or will have deficits that prevent the use of effective coping. McGrath (1970a) observed that coping behavior may take place before, during, or after the occurrence of a stress-inducing condition. Such coping behaviors may be targeted toward preventing or removing the stressor, or toward impeding or offsetting the consequences of that stress. McGrath (1970a) has written that some kinds of coping behaviors appear before potentially stress-inducing demands, rather than after. Anticipatory coping involves the preparations for preventing or reducing the undesired consequences of the stressing condition. In contrast , preventive coping involved the actions taken by individuals that prevent the stress-inducing condition from occurring. Some coping processes were action-centered and problem-focused, changing the person-environment relationship. Other coping processes were called emotion-focused or cognitive coping strategies , only intended to change the way the relationship was interpreted or addressed. The latter processes

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47 involved mainly thinking, rather than acting. Lazarus (1991) added that coping strategies, whether problem-focused or emotion-focused, were associated with improvement in the individual's emotional state from the beginning to the end of the challenging encounter. As a result, negative emotions decreased , while positive emotions increased . Most importantly, Lazarus viewed the appraisal and coping process as influential in the subsequent appraisals and emotional reactions for future events . Pines and Aronson (1988) also found variations in individuals ' coping styles, with these styles differing in their effectiveness . In their study involving 14 7 participants , Pines and Aronson found that 20% of the participants took a direct-active strategy when coping with stress . That is, these participants confronted the source of stress , changed the source of stress or adopted a positive attitude . In contrast, 20% of the participants took a direct-inactive coping approach, either avoiding the sources of stress or doing nothing about them . Forty-nine percent of the participants used a variety of indirect-active coping techniques: talking about the stress, thinking about the stress, or getting involved in other physical , religious , or relaxation activities. Finally , 11 % of the participants utilized a variety of indirect-inactive coping styles , including worrying, crying , drinking, eating , smoking , accepting the situation, or doing nothing. In a second study involving eighty-four participants , Pines and Aronson (1988) found that active coping styles were most frequently used and the most successful to manage burnout , as they were more likely to change the source of the stress. In contrast , inactive strategies were used less frequently and were the

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48 least successful when countering burnout. Of importance in Pines and Aronson ' s results , was the fact that the direct-inactive strategy of consciously ignoring the source of stress was similar to active strategies to cope with the stress . The researchers distinguished between ignoring or avoiding the stress and denial about the stress . The former was noted to be a conscious decision by the individuals to deal with the stress sooner or later; whereas with denial , the individual perceives everything to be fine , bringing about later distress as a result of the situation worsening . The most appropriate coping styles for stressors that are identified as continuous , situational , and changeable were found to be direct-active . Such stressors constantly posed a threat to the individual and were viewed as changeable. In contrast , Pines and Aronson assert that when the stressors or demands are intermittent , yet changeable, an individual might use a direct-act i ve coping style or prefer to leave it or ignore it. When the source of stress is not changeable and the stress is intermittent, a direct-active coping style is not useful. Rather , the individual must seek intermittent relief to help them through the peak periods of stress . Presenting a particular challenge to individuals is immutable stress that is continuous. Indirect-active strategies tend to be the most responsive. Indirect active strategies might include talking about the source of stress , changing oneself , or getting involved in other activities . Such strategies are aimed at closing the gap between the environmental demands and the individual ' s capacity (Pines & Aronson , 1988) . Finally , Pines and Aronson ' s research showed

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49 that females tend to use indirect methods of coping more frequently (i.e., talking about the stress , getting ill , and collapsing); whereas males tend to use direct strategies of changing the sources of stress and ignoring the stress more often. Coping Resources Hobfoll (1989) defined psychological stress in terms of an individual ' s perceived or actual loss of resources. He has conveyed that stress is produced when there is a threat or actual loss of resources, as well as a lack of resource gain after the individual has invested resources . Hobfoll asserted that an understanding of stress is tied in with an individual ' s resources . Resources were defined as " .. . objects, personal characteristics , conditions, or energies that are valued by the individual or that serve as a means for attainment of these objects , personal characteristics , conditions , or energies " (p . 516). Hobfoll proposed the model of conservation of resources . Specifically, individuals attempt to minimize the loss of resources when confronted with stress. It was noted that if the individuals ' expenditure of resources were greater than the coping benefits , t he outcome of the coping would be negative. In contrast, individuals attempt to build their resources when they are not in stressful situations . The individual ' s building of their resources would buffer them from future losses , as well as contribute to the likelihood of goal attainment and positive feelings. Hobfoll (1989) identified four types of resources which individuals strive to enhance . The first type of resource was called object resources. These resources meet individuals ' bas i c physical needs and help the individual achieve status . The second type of resource included conditions such as marriage , job

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50 security, or seniority. The buffering effect on stress that this category brought about was contingent upon the degree to which the individual valued these states. Hobfoll's third group of resources related to personal characteristics. This group of resources included positive self-regard, internal locus of control, optimism, resourcefulness, self-efficacy, and mastery. Hobfoll's last group of resources helped to facilitate the individual's acquisition of the other categories of resources . He called this group, "energies." This latter group included money, time, and knowledge. Hobfoll added that social support did not fit into any of the aforementioned groups of resources. Rather, social relationships were viewed as a resource only to the extent that they facilitated or provided the maintenance of an individual's necessary resources . Social relationships could either be positive or negative, contingent upon the quality and type of social support they provided. Hobfoll added that it was not the number of relationships that has importance to the individual, but rather that he or she has the presence of one or two intimate relationships that protect against psychosocial and health risks. Folkman, Schaefer, and Lazarus (1979) noted that coping resources provide the basis for coping action. However, the potency of these resources is contingent upon the individual's knowledge of their own resources and understanding of their own use of these resources . Variations in a person ' s coping resources are noted across time, as they expand and contract relative to the individual's experience, degree of stress, time of life and the adaptation requirements. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) explained further that the presence of a resource at any given time does not mean that it will be available to the

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51 person at another time. However , some resources were considered to be less changing than others . Lazarus and Folkman provided the example that individuals ' general beliefs about their own efficacy tends to be relatively stable. In addition , Lazarus and Folkman noted that each stressful encounter has its own task demands . The individual ' s mere possession of resources did not necessarily mean that the appropriate resource would be used at the appropriate time or in the stressful encounter in which coping was required . Six categories of coping resources were delineated by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) , including health and energy, positive beliefs , problem-solving skills , social skills , social support , and material resources . Health and energy resources are particularly necessary in enduring , chronic stressful conditions. Lazarus and Folkman proposed that individuals' would have less energy to expend on coping if they were sick , tired , or depressed. In contrast , healthy individuals were more likely to endure stressful crisis situations. Individuals ' beliefs in themselves or their positive view of themselves were regarded as a positive coping resource . Lazarus and Folkman surmised that general and specific positive beliefs provided hope in situations , forming the basis of the individual ' s positive coping efforts in challenging conditions . The individual ' s generalized belief that situations were controllable helped provide answers to questions about events and circumstances that were perceived to be threatening or challenging . Next , Lazarus and Folkman described the category of problem solving skills in terms of the individual ' s ability to work through specific problems in generalized, abstract skills , as well as in their day-to-day activities . Social skills

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52 were identified as important coping resources because of their role in helping individuals problem solve with other individuals. Lazarus and Folkman asserted that individuals were more likely to have greater control over social interactions through the use of social skills . Similar to Hobfoll's previous notions regarding social networks or social support, Lazarus and Folkman have noted that social support systems can be a valuable coping resource. Finally, the last category of coping resources was material resources. This category included money, tools, training programs, and services . The overall benefit of this coping resource was its capability of increasing the individual's coping options in other stressful encounters. It was assumed that individuals with an abundance of utilitarian resources generally handled stressful situations more positively than individuals who lacked in this resource category. Scheier and Carver (1993) have approached the notion of positive thinking by expressing that the actions people take are considered to be influenced by their expectations about the consequences of these actions . The researchers add that positive expectations for the future are shaped by positive thinking . Higher levels of optimism have been associated with more positive well-being during times of stress. In particular, individuals with positive beliefs are able to normalize their lifestyle, or adjust more quickly, following stressful events than those with pessimistic beliefs. Scheier and Carver also associate optimism with more effective problem-solving strategies, direct action, and focused efforts. In addition, positive beliefs are associated with individuals' acceptance of reality and the opportunity for personal growth during stressful situations . In contrast,

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53 pessimists try to deny that stressful situations occur, generally dealing with them through avoidance. Pessimistic beliefs are associated with tendencies to give up more quickly. The relative importance of various coping resources was investigated by Holmes and Werbel (1992). In their longitudinal study of 186 individuals who had recently lost their job and who were actively seeking reemployment , the investigators hypothesized that individuals with greater coping resources would be able to find new jobs more quickly than those with less coping resources . Holmes and Werbel reported three significant findings relevant to the 67 individuals (or 36% of the sample) who found new jobs within three months of their termination . First , participants who found employment were significantly more internal in their locus of control. Similarly , the individuals in new employment situations had scored significantly higher in their self-efficacy when compared to those who remained unemployed . Thirdly , participants who found new jobs had scored significantly higher in their problem-solving skills than those participants that remained unemployed . In contrast, significant differences between those individuals that found new employment and the unemployed were not significantly demonstrated in their health , social skills , social support or material resources . Overall , the individuals who were able to locate new employment opportunities scored higher in their positive beliefs and problem solving skills , in comparison to those who remained unemployed. In view of the association between stress and academic failure , the role of coping resources has been studied with school-aged children and adolescents .

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54 Relative to this role, Matheny , Aycock, and McCarthy (1993) have reported that students frequently use a combination of coping strategies simultaneously in order to combat the stressor and to manage their emotional responses to it. The list of resources includes the following: (a) social support from family, friends, and peers; (b) social skills (i.e., assertiveness and communication skills); (c) positive thinking (i.e. , self-talk); (d) self-esteem; (e) a sense of control; and (f) problem-solving skills . In studies of students' responses to stressors and their coping strategies, gender differences have been noted. Matheny et al. related that females' predominant stressors relate to personal appearances and difficulties in relationships. In contrast, males ' greatest sources of stress related to apprehension about the possibility of failing grades and concerns about vocational adjustment. Overall, females perceived more life demands than males . By the same token, females relied heavily upon social support, as well as used a broader range of coping strategies than did males . Demands in the Principalship Research has consistently demonstrated the fact that strong instructional leadership is a key to effective schools. However, Lyons (1990) has reported that principals face major sources of stress in carrying out their duties and responsibilities . Specifically , principals may experience stress as a result of role conflict. Such conflict may emanate when the principal is expected to accomplish and carry out district goals, policies and directives that are in conflict with the goals and expectations of staff members. At the same time, principals are expected to be instructional leaders within their schools . However, Lyons

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55 contends that the size, complexity and level of most secondary schools warrants the majority of secondary school principals' time to be designated toward administrative activities, numerous interruptions, and the enormous number of daily interpersonal contacts . This paradox presents another source of stress for principals. Conflicts between student and student , teacher and student , teacher and teacher , teacher and parent , teacher and assistant principal , and teacher and central office supervisors are not uncommon in the school setting . Frequently , the effectiveness of principals is judged by their ability to resolve such conflicts . The principal ' s challenge to be problem-solver and peacemaker can be time-consuming and stressful , particularly with the knowledge that such problems may be referred to the central office if they are not resolved. Nonetheless , Bailey , Fillos , and Kelly (1987) reported that exemplary principals exhibit fewer symptoms of stress than a standard set of principals , as measured by general health patterns and general' health patterns . Relative to the multiple demands and sources of stress in the principalship , Doud and Keller (1998) reported that 89% of the K-8 principals surveyed , indicated that they work longer than the average 40 hour work week , with 45 hours representing the mean for the principals ' work week . In all , over 51 % of the principals responded that they spend 10 or more hours per day at school , reflecting an increase from nine as reported by Doud (1989) . Two-th i rds of the principal respondents spend 8 or fewer hours per week in schoo lrelated activities outside of the normal work day . This also represents an increase from the mean of six hours reported by K-8 principals ten years earlier. Factors that

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56 were noteworthy in terms of how much additional time was spent in the extra curricular activities related to gender , community type , and the years of experience. Female principals averaged eight additional hours per week on activities outside of the school day , in comparison to their male counterparts who averaged seven hours . Principals of schools in rural areas typically spent seven hours per week in additional activities in comparison to principals in other community settings . Lastly, principals with fewer than five years of experience reported working more hours per week, in general , than principals with more years of experience ; however , they averaged one less hour per week in the outside activities (Doud & Keller , 1998) . As previously noted by Doud (1989) , female principals reported a higher number of work hours in school-related activities . Similarly , a higher number of work hours in school-related activities were noted by principals with less than 14 years of experience , those less than 50 years of age , those with more academic preparation , principals of schools with pupil enrollments of 400 or less , and principals in rural communities . In addition, principals with the least amount of experience were more likely to spend the most amount of time at work each day. Similarly , differences were noted between male principals and female principals , with the former averaging nine hours per day and the latter averaging 10 hours per day (Doud & Keller , 1998). Doud and Keller ' s survey in 1998 also inquired about principals ' current or potential concerns in their schools. Seventy-two percent of the respondents identified " fragmentation of time " as the most prevalent management issue . I n

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57 addition , over one-half of the respondents identified major concerns related to student assessment/performance and students not performing up to their potential. Instructional practices and curriculum development were also recognized as major sources of concern by 46 . 1 % and 44 . 6% of the respondents , respectively. Relative to student issues , Doud and Keller reported that 40% of the principal respondents noted management of student behavior as a major concern . Professional development and the retraining of staff were noted by approximately 50% of the respondents as a major concern and by 40% of the respondents as a minor concern. Lastly , principal respondents identified two major sources of concern relevant to stakeholder issues . Approximately 56% of the principals who responded to the survey identified the assurance of the necessary financial resources as a major concern ; while approximately 41 % noted the level of parental participation as another source of major concern . Principals and Stress Brimm (1983) has contended that principals are besieged on a daily basis with frequent interruptions and multiple spur-of-the-moment meetings . Although the amount of stress resulting from these events may vary from principal to principal , stress is considered to be an invariable factor in the life of even the most organized principal. When individuals are exposed to high stress environments , in which time demands are the norm , decisions have to be made continually , and the individuals have minimal time to reflect ; limited options are available. McCabe and Schneiderman (1984) have offered the following courses of action:

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58 (a) accept the stress, (b) seek out periods of time away from the stressful environment , and/or (c) restructure one ' s life to follow an alternative course . This latter strategy may involve changing one ' s perceptions and behaviors relative to the stressful environment. Of particular importance to the field of research specific to principals and stress , are Walter Gmelch and Boyd Swent. In 1984 , these two researchers conducted an exploratory survey of school administrators for the purpose of identifying their perceptions of the major sources of stress within their jobs. T he sample for this action research project was drawn from approximately 1 , 855 administrators who were members of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators. Usable questionnaires were received from 1 , 156 administrators, representing 354 elementary administrators , 397 junior high and high schoo l administrators , 1 51 superintendents or superintendent/principals , 254 assistant superintendent and central office staff, and 89 "others " (i.e. , curriculum directors, transportation supervisors , and athletic directors) . The mean age within the sample was 42, with 91 % of the participants being male . The average number of years of administrative experience was nine . The median number of hours worked per week was 55. Of particular significance was the finding that more than 60% of the participants attributed 75% of their total life stress to work. Gmelch and Swent's instrument for their study was developed to measure sources of administrators ' job-related stress , with the intent of capturing all relevant aspects of their job . From the resultant Administrative Stress Index , Gmelch and Swent were able to identify the corresponding top ten stressors of

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59 administrators , specific differences in sources of stress when compared by administrative position , as well as differences in stressors by school level (i.e . , elementary , junior , and high) . More specifically , the following corresponding top ten stressors were identified: (1) complying with state , federal , and organizational rules and policies; (2) feeling that meetings take up too much time ; (3) trying to complete reports and other paper work on time ; (4) trying to gain public approval and/or financial support for school programs; (5) trying to resolve parent/school conflicts ; (6) evaluating staff members ' performance ; (7) having to make decisions that affect the lives of individual people that I know (colleagues, staff members, students, etc . ) ; (8) feeling that I have too heavy a work load , one that I cannot possibly finish during the normal work day; (9) imposing excess i vely high expectations on myself ; and (10) being interrupted frequently by telephone calls. Gmelch and Swent referred to the top 20% of the 35 items, or seven top stressors as "high " stressors. Five of the top seven stressors were considered to be significant beyond the . 001 level. The following five were specifically cited as statistically significant: (1) complying with rules, (2) gaining support, (3) school conflict, (4) evaluating performance , and (5) making decisions (Gmelch & Chan , 1995 ; Gmelch & Swent , 1984) . Gmelch and Swent's study (1984) also revealed specific differences in sources of stress when compared by administrative position (as depicted in Table 2-1). Superintendents and assistant superintendents perceived more stress from "complying with rules and policies " in comparison to other administrative groups . Likewise , junior high vice/assistant principals perceived

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60 Table 2-1 Rank and Mean Scores of Tog Stressors by: Administrative Position as Regorted by: Gmelch and Swent (1984) Stress Traps All Senior High Junior High Elementary Administrators Principals Principals Principals Complying with rules 1 1 1 1 and regulations (3.34) (3.37) (3 . 51) (3 . 26) Attending meetings 2 2 2 2 (3.10) (3 . 31) (3 . 23) (3 . 14) Completing paperwork 3 6 5 3 (2 . 99) (3.07) (3 . 02) (3 . 02) Gaining public approval 4 3 10 5 (2 . 97) (3.18) (2.80) (2 . 92) Resolving parent 5 5 4 6 conflicts (2 . 82) (3.10) (3.14) (2 . 84) Evaluating staff ' s 6 4 3 4 performance (2 . 79) (3 . 16) (3 . 23) (2 . 95) Affecting lives of people 7 8 6 7 (2 . 77) (2.99) (2.99) (2 . 80) Too heavy work load 8 10 9 1 0 (2 . 72) (2.87) (2 . 81) (2 . 56) Expectations on self 9 11 12 8 (2 . 70) (2 . 80) (2 . 69) (2 . 61) Telephone interruptions 10 9 10 9 (2 . 67) (2.80) (2.80) (2 . 58) Outside school 11 7 3 1 2 activities (2.67) (3.00) (2 . 86) (2 . 52) Student discipline 12 15 7 1 1 (2 . 58) (2.56) (2 . 97) (2 . 54) Total number of 1156 123 88 354 administrators in study significantly more stress from " trying to resolve parent/school conflicts. " A noteworthy finding from Gmelch and Swent ' s study included the fact that junior high principals perceived greater stress relative to the evaluation of staff

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61 members in comparison to high school vice-principals, assistant superintendents and central office staff . . From their study, Gmelch and Swent (1984) found that nearly all elementary and junior and senior high principals rated compliance with state , federal and organizational rules and policies as their primary source of stress. In contrast , senior and junior high vice-principals rated attending meet i ngs and resolving parent conflicts, respectively, as their top stressor . Elementary and senior high principals rated the overwhelming number of meetings as their second top stressor , whereas junior high principals noted that latter area , as well as the evaluation of staff's performance as their next most stressful activity . Again , secondary school principals were more bothered by frequent telephone interruptions and participation in school activities outside normal working hours , than elementary and junior high principals . When compared to elementary principals , secondary school and junior high principals were bothered more by student conflicts . Rank and mean scores of the top stressors by administrative position are provided in Table 2-1. Gmelch and Swent ( 1984) noted that four of the most troubling stressors corresponded to the management of activities and their relationship to time . Therefore , they recommended that emphasis be placed on time and activity management training for principals , particularly in certification and preservice programs . In addition , the researchers encouraged greater emphasis in increasing principals ' understanding and comfort level relative to legal training , compliance procedures and guidelines. In addition, continued emphasis on

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62 interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution and community relations was strongly recommended by Gmelch and Swent. Other researchers have explored the domain of principals and stress , supporting and expanding upon Gmelch and Swent's work . Brimm ' s study (1983) of Tennessee school administrators included 258 elementary principals, 75 junior high principals, 121 secondary principals, 61 superintendents, and 94 supervisors of instruction. The study supported Swent and Gmelch ' s earlier findings, with 8 of the top 10 stressors identified in the Oregon study also being identified by Tennessee administrators as creating significant job-related stress. Brimm reported that the top 10 stressors identified by Tennessee administrators who completed the Administrative Stress Index were as follows : (1) complying with state, federal , and organizational rules and policies ; (2) having to make decisions that affect the lives of individual people I know; (3) trying to resolve parent-school conflicts; (4) evaluating staff members' performance; (5) being interrupted frequently by telephone calls; (6) trying to complete reports and other paper work on time; (7) trying to gain public approval and/or financial support for school programs; (8) feeling I have to participate in school activities outside the normal working hours; (9) feeling that the progress on my job is not what it should or could be; (10) feeling that I have too heavy a work load, one I cannot possibly finish during the normal working day. (Brimm, p. 66) For the most part, those tasks which were perceived to be stressful for principals related primarily to the day-to-day job administrative tasks and responsibilities normally associated with the principalship. Brimm's study revealed that secondary school principals also reported considerable stress resulting from the overall workload and excessive paperwork, citing that such

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63 activities could not be completed during the normal work hours. Elementary , junior and high school principals reported that the activities were particularly bothersome and ones that caused anxiety : (a) decision making involving students and staff , (b) the evaluation of staff members , and (c) attempts to resolve parent-school conflicts. Of importance however , were Brimm ' s findings which revealed differences among the administrators with regard to individual stressors . Principals at all levels showed a relationship between job stress and the high expectations they establish for themselves. Elementary principals , in contrast to junior high and high school principals , reported feeling more pressure on this question . In contrast , junior high and secondary school principals reported that their participation in school activities outside of the normal work hours resulted in substantial stress . Whan and Thomas (1996) contributed to the growing research base on principal stress by directly measuring the physiological changes in capillary r ed cell movement as the body responded to stress . A Tissue Perfusion Index (T PI) was calculated based on changes in the capillary red cell movement. TPI readings were reported to be inversely related to the level of stress . Severe stress was shown with a TPI reading of ten or below , indicating that the blood flow to the capillaries had been severely restricted . Heavy stress was shown as a TPI reading over 10 and up to 30 , indicating that because of a physiological response , the blood flow to the capillaries had been heavily restricted . Lend i ng support to the concept that not all stress is counterproductive , operational stress was noted with a TPI reading over 30 and up to 80 , indicating that a certain

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64 amount of stress was noted, but that the level of stress was productive in generating energy towards meeting goals . Finally, relaxation was noted with TPI levels between 81 and 120 with a base level of 100. A level above 120 indicated deeper relaxation , a lowered pulse rate, and relaxed breathing. For the study, Whan and Thomas followed ten principals from one division of the State Department of Education in New South Wales, Australia, for a period of five days. Stress was identified by the observations of the principals and verified by the physiological TPI levels. A summary of the researchers ' findings indicated that nine of the ten principals experienced days when they were affected by heavy or severe stress for more than 30% of the time at work , occurring on 77% of the days observed. Likewise, five of the ten principals experienced days when they were under heavy or severe stress for more than 50% of their time at work . Whan and Thomas's results concurred with others ' findings that stress does vary from individual to individual. However, they observed activities and administrative behaviors that coincided with increased levels of stress for all the observed principals. From Whan and Thomas ' s study, eight broad categories of stress associated activities were identified , with six related to personnel within the school community. Although the principals valued hard work , honesty , and a desire to ensure effective instructional strategies, heavy or severe stress levels were noted when teachers exhibited values that were contradictory to that of the principal. Similarly , teachers ' lack of honesty and openness raised the stress level of the principal. Elevations in stress levels were noted during formal

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65 assemblies, as well as staff meetings, particularly when controversial issues were to be discussed or when there was uncertainty about how teachers would react. Likewise , severe stress was also associated with teacher absences , when the task of finding a replacement was placed on the principal. Inadequate performances by members of the administrative staff and certain teacher behaviors were associated with heavy and severe stress in the principals. Teacher behaviors associated with these stress levels included their failure to supervise the students properly , to circulate in the classroom to assist students , and to prepare lessons adequately. Likewise , principals associated higher stress levels with teacher behaviors such as frequently sending the students to the principal for discipline , blaming others for their own problems , and failure to carry out administrative directives at the required time . Finally , higher stress levels were associated with teachers being generally negative and unsupportive , in addition to frequent complaining to other staff members about decisions , procedures , and duties . Recurring , defiant student behaviors left principals feeling frustrated , annoyed, angry and stressed. Similarly , the possibility of harm, threat , loss of status or reputation from confrontational situations with parents brought about severe and heavy stress levels. Likewise , when confronted with powerful parent organizations or lobby groups , principals experienced heavy stress levels . Elevated stress levels were also recorded when the ultimate responsibility for rectifying supply shortages was left to the principal. Finally , principals' stress levels increased when dealing with matters pertaining to the

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66 buildings and grounds and the implementation of numerous simultaneous policy changes and initiatives . Such stressors, identified by Whan and Thomas , were amplified by the principals ' sense of time urgency to complete the tasks , while dealing with interruptions . In summary , Whan and Thomas identified several elements of the principalship that were associated with increased levels of stress in all or most of the principals observed . These included (a) certain teacher attitudes and behaviors , (b) substandard performance of administrative staff , (c) recurring inappropriate student behavior, (d) problems with buildings and grounds , (e) development and implementation of policy and curriculum , as well as (f) the heavy demands of work to be completed within a limited period of time. Coping in the Principalship By using the Administrative Stress Index and Coping Preference Scale, Allison (1997) explored the differences and the relationships between specific coping techniques used most commonly by principals and the total stress scores. Allison ' s sample for this survey research consisted of 1,455 public school principals in the province of British Columbia , Canada. The most common coping strategies chosen by the principal respondents were primarily strategies intended to moderate the effects of stress on the individual , as opposed to strategies that intended to reduce the sources of stress in the environment. Using the Coping Preference Scale , Allison identified the top five coping strategies as the following: 1 . practice good human relation skills with staff , students and parents ; 2 . maintain a sense of humor ; 3. approach problems optimistically and objectively;

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67 4. maintain regular sleep habits , and 5 . set realistic goals (recognize job limitations). Allison continued to delineate the various coping strategies i nto seven factors , rank ordering them according to their weighted means . The following coping preference scale factors were identified and ranked accordingly : 1 . realistic perspective ; 2 . positive attitude ; 3. good physical health program; 4 . intellectual, social , and spiritual support ; 5 . increased involvement ; 6 . time management and organization ; 7 . withdrawal and recharging . Utilizing a stepwise multiple regression analysis , Allison identified eight coping strategies that were significantly associated with the principals ' total Administrative Stress Index score (p < . 05) . However, the issue of mult i collinearity amongst the variables was not addressed in the cited methodology. Specifically , principals who set realistic goals , approached problems optimistically and objectively, engaged in activities that supported spiritual growth , took mini-vacations , and were actively involved in their communities were found to have significantly lower stress scores on the Administrative Stress Index . In addition , principals with low stress scores chose two coping strategies related to their own health and well-being (i.e ., engage in regular physical exercise or less active non-work or play activities) . In contrast, Allison noted that principals with high stress scores generally chose coping strategies related to their job (i.e., working harder , including nights and weekends ; talking to distr i ct administrators and other school principals , and withdrawing from situations) .

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68 In addition , Allison reported that principals with I . ow stress levels had a statistically significant greater repertoire of coping techniques with a mean number of 12.08 frequently chosen coping strategies . In contrast , principals with high stress scores had a mean of 9.64 frequently chosen coping strategies. Overall , principals with higher stress scores had a more limited reperto i re of coping techniques . In addition , principals with higher stress scores use the coping techniques overall to a lesser extent than principals with lower stress scores. Allison's analysis of stress and coping strategies in relation to principal and school characteristics revealed differences by gender , school leve l, highest level of degree , and age . Specifically, female elementary school principals and female high school principals differ in their approach to coping . The elementary principals tend to talk with family members and close friends , while the female and male high school principals tend to work harder in order to cope. Male elementary principals were reported to cope by engaging in active non-work or play activities. Principals ' degree level was positively related to their use of coping strategies , with principals with doctoral degrees more frequently employing coping strategies than master's level principals or bachelor ' s level principals , respectively . Similarly , doctoral level principals reported that in addition to working harder , they also maintain good health habits . Younger principals (age 30-39) were more likely to work harder than older principals . While differences existed for these personal variables , Allison noted that amongst elementary and secondary female and male principals , their top three

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69 coping strategies included the practice of good human relations skills with staff, students and parents ; the maintenance of a sense of humor ; and an optimistic and objective approach to problems. In all, Allison concluded that principals who have broad coping repertoires tend to be in better health and to experience lower stress levels , in comparison to principals with limited coping repertoires . Again , Allison emphasized the importance of workshops for principals on task and time management information, various coping strategies, and the development of broad coping repertoires in order to lessen the effects of work-related stress. Although school administrators are not able to completely eliminate stress in their work day, efforts to raise their understanding and level of awareness about stress and potential sources of stress will help them cope before stress occurs. Successful administrators will be able to manage the various stressors that they encounter daily, will be able to acknowledge the existence of potential sources of stress, as well as be flexible to changing circumstances (Brimm , 1983) . In brief, this chapter presented an overview of the literature relevant to past and current models of stress, as well as the components of the stress , appraisal and coping process. In addition, the demands of the principalship and relevant research on principals ' stress and coping processes were presented . Chapter 3 continues with the methodology for the study .

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter presents the mediational model that was tested through this research project. Secondly , the chapter reiterates the questions , hypotheses , and analyses that guided this research project. Chapter 3 continues with a summary of the University ' s Institutional Review Board approval process , as well as a description of the population and samples for the pilot study and the final research project. Next , the instruments used in the study are identified and described in terms of their development. Available data on the psychometric properties, reliability and validity , are presented . In addition , the procedures involved in the research process , as well as in the collection of data are delineated . Finally , the statistical analyses are identified and described . Mediational Model Guiding this study was a mediational model proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986). First , these researchers stressed the importance of distinguishing between moderator and mediating variables . Specifically , moderators were defined as variables (quantitative or qualitative) that affect the direction and strength of the relationship between the antecedent (independent) and outcome (dependent) variables . In contrast , a variable may be considered to be a mediator to the degree that it accounts for the relationship between the antecedent and the outcome variables . Baron and Kenny proposed a path 70

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71 diagram as a model for illustrating the concept of mediation, as depicted in Figure 3-1. Mediator C Predictor Variable ----------• Outcome Variable Figure 3-1. Mediational Model (Baron & Kenny , 1986) . Baron and Kenny ' s model assumes that there are three variables, with two causal paths feeding into the outcome or dependent variable . First , there is the path from the independent variable to the mediator (Path a) . Next, there is the impact of the independent variable on the mediator (Path b) . Finally , there is the path that depicts the direct impact of the antecedent variable on the outcome variable (Path c). Baron and Kenny stated that a variable functions as a mediator when the following conditions occur: (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive relationships with the presumed mediator , (b) mediator variations account for variations in the outcome variable , and (c) when both are held constant , any previous associations between the antecedent and the outcome variables are no longer significant. Mediation , therefore, is considered to be strongest when there is no longer any relationship between the antecedent and outcome variables . The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among principal characteristics , school demographic variables, and the preventive coping resources of principals in relation to their level of stress. Specifically , this

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72 study examined the mediational role of preventive coping resources between principal characteristics and school demographic variables (the antecedent variables) and the outcome variable (principals ' stress levels) . Preventive coping resources were examined as the mechanism through which principal characteristics and school demographic variables affect principals ' stress levels. The following section delineates the specific questions , hypotheses , and model that guided this research project. Question 1 What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in Florida? Analysis of Question 1 Question 1 was analyzed through the provision of descriptive statistics for principals ' perceived stressors , including each variable's measures of central tendency and variance . Question 2 What are the current preventive coping resources of public school principals in Florida? Analysis of Question 2 Question 2 was analyzed through the provision of descriptive statistics for principals ' reported preventive coping resources , including the measures of central tendency and variance .

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73 Hypothesis 1 Principal characteristics (i.e. , gender , years of experience as a principal , and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables (district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment) are related to principals ' preventive coping resources . Analysis of Hypothesis 1 To test the first condition of the mediational model, the relationships among the principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and principals ' preventive coping resources were explored through a regression analysis . Within this analysis , the principal characteristics and school demographic variables represented the two sets of antecedent variables . Principal gender , district enrollment group , school level , and school enrollment were treated as categorical variables and were dummy coded for the analyses . In contrast , the number of years of experience and the number of hours worked per week were treated as quantitative , continuous variables . Principals ' preventive coping resources represented the mediating variable. The estimated structural model was E(Y 1) =a+ b 1 X 1 + b 2 x 2 + b 3 X 3 + b 4 X 4 + b s x s + b 5 X 5; where Y 1 = principals ' preventive coping resources , X 1 = gender, x 2 = number of years of experience as a principal , x 3 = number of hours worked per week , X4 = district enrollment group , x 5 = school level , and x 6 = school enrollment.

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74 Hypothesis 2 Principals ' preventive coping resources are related to their stress levels , with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and variety of preventive coping resources . Analysis of Hypothesis 2 To test the second condition of the mediational model , the relationship between principals ' preventive coping resources (the quantitative, mediating variable) and principals' stress levels (the quantitative, outcome variable) , when controlling for the effects of principal characteristics and school demog r aphic variables , was analyzed through a regression analysis. The estimated structural model was E(Y 2 ) =a+ b 7 Y 1; where Y 2 = principals ' stress levels and Y 1 = principals ' preventive coping resources . Hypothesis 3 Principals ' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between principal characteristics (i.e ., gender , number of years of experience as a principal , number of hours worked per week) , school demographic variables (i.e . , district enrollment group, school level , and school enrollment) , and principals ' stress levels . Analysis of Hypothesis 3 The third condition of the hypothesized mediational model was tested through a two-step regression analysis . Within the last step of the procedure outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986), the outcome variable was first regressed on the two sets of antecedent variables. For this analysis , the principal

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75 characteristics and school demographic variables represented the two sets of antecedent variables . Principal gender, district enrollment group , school level , and school enrollment were treated as categorical variables and were dummy coded for the analyses . In contrast , the number of years of experience and the number of hours worked per week were treated as quantitative , continuous variables . Principals ' stress levels , as measured by the Administrative Stress Index , were treated as a quantitative, outcome variable. The estimated structural model that was tested for this step was the following : E(Y 2 ) =a+ b 1 x 1 + b 2 x 2 + b 3 x 3 + b 4 X4 + b 5 x s + b 6 x 6 ; where Y 2 = principals ' stress levels , X 1 = gender , x 2 = number of years of experience as a principal , x 3 = number of hours worked per week , X4 = district enrollment group , x 5 = school level, and x 6 = school enrollment. Secondly , when establishing mediation, Baron and Kenny recommended regressing the outcome variable on both the antecedent variables and the mediating variable. In addition to the aforementioned variables , this analysis included principals ' preventive coping resources , as a quantitative , mediating variable. The estimated structural model for this final step was : E(Y 2 ) =a+ b 1 x 1 + b 2 x 2 + b 3 X 3 + b 4 X4 + b s x s + b 5 X 5 + b 7 Y 1 . Again , Y 2 = principals ' stress levels , x 1 = gender , x 2 = number of years of experience as a principal , x 3 = number of hours worked per week , X4 = district enrollment group , x 5 = school level , and X 5 = school enrollment , and Y 1 = principals ' preventive coping resources. Questions 1 and 2 provided descriptions of the various sources of stress reported by principals and the preventive coping resources principals u t ilize .

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76 Hypotheses 1 through 3 involved the steps recommended by Baron and Kenny when testing for mediation. Specifically , Hypothesis 1 addressed step one of the model , regressing the mediating variable on the two sets of antecedent variables . Hypothesis 2 addressed the second step of the mode l, regressing the outcome variable on the mediating variable. Finally , Hypothesis 3 addressed step three of the model , regressing the outcome variab l e on both the antecedent and mediating variables . Participants In this section , the Institutional Review Board procedure and approva l process is specified , as well as the prerequisite activities . In addition , the population for the study , as well as the samples for the pilot study and actua l research study are described . Institutional Review Board Procedure and Approval Prior to the initiation of the research project , approval to use the Administrative Stress Index and the Preventive Resources Inventory was obtained from the test authors . The letters requesting permission and granting permission to use the Administrative Stress Index are noted in Appendices A and B . The letters requesting permission and granting permission to use the Preventive Resources Inventory are found in Appendices C and D. In addition , prior to seeking approval from the University of Florida ' s Institutional Review Board (UFIRB) , a request for information regarding the availability of principals' residential addresses was sent to the Florida Department of Education (Appendix E) . Once the aforementioned permission letters and information were obtained ,

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77 approval from the UFIRB was requested for this research project. Approvals for the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index and the final study were obtained through separate applications. The protocol and Informed Consent for the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index are provided in Appendices F and G . UFIRB approval was granted for the pilot study and is displayed in Appendix H. Likewise, Appendix I includes a copy of the participant questionnaire for the pilot study. Appendix J includes the Administrative Stress Index. Finally, the protocol and Informed Consent for the final research study are provided in Appendices Kand L , respectively. Population The population for this study included all elementary, middle/junior high, and high school public school principals in Florida employed during the 2001-2002 school year . The Florida Department of Education ' s Education and Information and Accountability Services report (Fall, 2001) noted that there are 2,714 public school principals in Florida. More specifically, 59% (N = 1,612) of the principals in Florida are females, whereas 41 % (N = 1, 102) of the principals are males. Within the aforementioned report, the Profiles of Florida School Districts (Fall , 2001) indicated that for the Racial/Ethnic Distribution Profiles of Total Administrative Staff at the School Level, 73% (N = 1,987) of the staff are White, Non-Hispanic; 20% (N = 537) of the staff are Black , Non-Hispanic; 7% (N = 182) of the administrative staff are Hispanic; less than 1 % (N = 2) are Asian/Pacific Islander; and less than 1 % (N = 6) are American Indian/Alaskan Native.

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78 The Florida Department of Education ' s Education Information and Accountability Services report also indicated that there are 67 districts in Florida . Such districts are alphabetized and numbered from 1 to 67 , respectively . Of these 67 districts , 10% (N=7) are identified as very large , with a student enrollment of 100,000 students or more; 10% (N=7) are large , with a student enrollment of 40 , 000 to 99,999 ; 21 % (N=14) are medium , with a student enrollment of 20 , 000 to 39 , 999 ; 21 % (N=14) are noted as medium/small , with a student enrollment of 7 , 000 to 19 , 999 ; and lastly , 37% (N=25) are small , with a student enrollment of less than 7 , 000 . Finally , the Profiles of Florida School Districts Report (2001 2002) , within the Education Information and Accountability Services report , indicated that there are 3 , 648 public schools within the 67 districts. Of these schools , 45% (N=1 , 656) are elementary , 13% (N=465) are middle/junior , and 11 % (N=399) are senior high schools . The remaining 31 % or 1, 128 schools represent exceptional student schools , combination schools , adult schools , vocational schools , charter schools , Department of Juvenile Justice , or other types of schools . Sample Two separate samples were selected for this research project. Initially , a sample was drawn for the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index . Following the pilot study , a subsequent sample was drawn for the actual research study . Pilot study sample. A total of 30 public school principals from the elementary , middle , and high school levels within a large Central Florida school

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79 district were randomly selected . Of the 30 principals randomly selected , a total of 25 principals responded to the survey , representing an 83% response rate. Within the resultant sample , 52% were males and 48% were females . The mean age of the participating principals was 52.4 years. Eighty percent of the participating principals in the pilot study were White Non-Hispanic . Eight percent of the participants 8% indicated a racial/ethnic category of either Hispanic or Black Non-Hispanic ; and lastly , 4% indicated a racial/ethnic category of American Indian/Alaskan Native. Within the pilot study sample, 72% of the participants reported holding a Master ' s degree as their highest level of degree obtained . Another 20% indicated that they hold a Specialist degree , while 8% had received a Doctorate . The mean number of years the pilot study participants had been principals was 10.4. In contrast , the mean number of years in the field of education was reported by the principals to be 29 . 2. Sixty percent of the participants represented the elementary school level , whereas 20% represented the middle school level , and another 20% represented the high school level. Finally , when asked about the school enrollments , 32% of the principals indicated an enrollment of 750 or fewer students , 44% reported a school enrollment of 751 to 1 , 000 students , and finally , 24% indicated a student enrollment of 1 , 50 1 or more students on their campus . Table 3-1 summarizes the characteristics of the 25 participating principals for the pilot study .

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80 Table 3-1 Principal Respondents ' Characteristics for Pilot Study Characteristics Frequency Valid% Gender Female 12 48% Male 13 52% Racial/Ethnic Category American Indian/Alaskan Native 1 4% Black Non-Hispanic 2 8% Hispanic 2 8% White Non-Hispanic 20 80% Highest Degree Earned Masters 18 72% Specialist 5 20% Doctorate 2 8% School Level Elementary 15 60% Middle 5 20% High 5 20% School Enrollment 1-750 8 32% 751-1 , 500 11 44% 1 , 501 or more 6 24% Note: N = 25 . Research study sample . A request for the mailing addresses of the principals in Florida was made to the Florida Department of Education (Appendix E). From this listing, a sample of principals (N = 216) was drawn from the population of public school principals in Florida using a stratified design . During the random selection process, it was necessary to combine the small and

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81 medium/small categories in order to obtain a sufficient number of principals at each level for the study . The principals were selected randomly from each of the four district enrollment groups (i.e ., very large , large, medium , small/medium small) by school levels (i.e. , elementary , middle/junior , high) , for a total of 12 categories. Eighteen principals from each of the 12 categories were selected , yielding a total sample size of 216 participants . Five surveys were returned as undeliverable from the initial mail out. Babbie (1973) recommended that , in calculating the actual response rate , the number of questionnaires that could not be delivered should be subtracted from the initial sample size . The actual response rate is then based on the number of completed questionnaires divided by the net sample size . For this study , the net sample size was 211 principals . Two weeks after the initial mailing , a total of 68 completed surveys and four undeliverable surveys were received , yielding a response rate of 32%. A second mailing was sent out on the fifteenth day of the study to those principals that had not responded at that point to the initial mailing , along with a letter again requesting their participation in the study . A total of 116 completed surveys and five undeliverable surveys were received . Twenty-three of the completed surveys , or 20 of the surveys , were a result of the second mailing . Overall , a response rate of 55% was obtained through the two mailings and the offering of the gift card. A third mailing was not necessary as the desired response rate for analysis and reporting was obtained from the first two mailings.

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82 Forty-nine percent of the participating principals were females , whereas approximately 51 % of the principals were males . The majority of principals , 88% , were White Non-Hispanic , whereas approximately 10% were Black Non Hispanic . Slightly less than 1 % of the respondents were either American Indian/Alaskan Native or Hispanic. The age of principals ranged between 3 7 and 63 , with the majority of respondents (68%) between the ages of 49 and 60 . The average age of the principal respondents was 52 years. Table 3-2 summarizes the principal respondents ' personal characteristics. Table 3-2 Principal Respondents ' Personal Characteristics for Actual Study Personal Characteristics Gender Female Male Racial/Ethnic Category American Indian/Alaskan Native Black Non-Hispanic Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Age at Time of Survey 37-42 43-48 49-54 55-60 60 or older Frequency 57 59 1 12 1 100 9 22 47 31 6 Valid% 49 . 1% 50 . 9% . 9% 1 0 . 5% . 9% 87.7% 7 . 8% 1 9.2% 40.9% 26.9% 5 . 2% Note : N = 116 . Two respondents did not provide a racial/ethnic category. One respondent did not provide a current age .

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83 A total of 80 principals, representing 69% of the respondents, reported a master's degree as their highest degree earned. Principals with doctorate degrees accounted for 24% of the respondents , whereas 7% had a specialist degree. The principals were also asked to indicate their total number of years in the education profession . The majority of principal respondents (56%) reported between 22 and 31 total years in the education profession . Another 24% reported between 32 and 36 years of experience in education. The principal respondents for this study averaged 28 years of experience in education, with a minimum of 12 years and a maximum of 41. When asked what age the principals were first appointed to a principalship , the age range for this sample varied between 25 and 60 years of age, with a mean of 43. The majority of respondents (61 %) were between 37 and 48 when first appointed . With regards to principal tenure, the respondents varied from one year to 36 years as a p rincipal. The majority of respondents (73%) ranged from one to ten years of experience, with another 10% reporting between 16 and 20 years of experience as a principal. The average number of years of experience as a principal for this sample was reported to be 8 . Finally, the principals were surveyed about the approximate average number of hours worked per week, including activities relevant to attending school functions , school district meetings , etc. Although the number of hours varied between 43 and 98, the average number of hours worked per week was reported to be 57 . Principals who reported the number of hours worked per week ranging from 49-63 accounted for 75% of the respondents. Approximately 11 % of

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84 the sample reported working 70 or more hours per week. Table 3-3 summarizes the professional characteristics of the participating principals . Principals were surveyed regarding the levels of school in which they have been principals . Approximately 33% of the principal respondents were based at elementary schools . Another 35% were principals at the middle/junior level. Twenty-five percent were high school principals . Lastly , approximately 7% of the respondents were principals at either combination middle/high schools or other school settings . Approximately 77% (N = 89) of the participating principals reported experience at one school level during their career as principals . In contrast , 19% (N = 22) reported experience as a principal at two school levels . Within the sample , 4% (N = 5) of the principals noted experience at the elementary , middle/junior, and high school levels. Principal respondents were asked to indicate the enrollment group , or PK12 membership , in the district in which they were principals. Initially , response categories were: (a) small-less than 7,000 students , (b) medium/small 7 , 00019 , 999 students , (c) medium20,000-39,999 students, (d) large40 , 000-100 , 000 students, and (e) very large-greater than 100,000 students . However , the five district enrollment categories were recoded into three categories due to the number of cases with missing values for the regression analyses. Specifically , the resultant district enrollment categories were as follows: (a) small/medium size, 39,999 students or less ; (b) large size, 40,000 to 100 , 000 students ; and (c) very large , greater than 100 , 000 students. Fifty percent of the participating

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85 Table 3-3 Principal Respondents ' Professional Characteristics for Actual Study Professional Characteristics Frequency Valid% Highest Degree Earned Masters 80 69.0% Specialist 8 6.9% Doctorate 28 24 . 1% Number of Years in the Education Profession 12-16 7 6.1% 17-21 9 7.8% 22-26 32 27.8% 27-31 32 27 . 9% 32-36 29 24 . 3% 37-41 6 6 . 0% Age Appointed to First Principalship 25-30 4 1.8% 31-36 17 16.3% 37-42 33 28 . 3% 43-48 38 32 . 7% 49-54 22 18 . 9% 55 or greater 2 1 . 7% Total Number of Years as a Principal 1-5 48 41 . 4% 6-10 37 32 . 0% 11-15 12 7.3% 16-20 12 10 . 3% 21-25 5 4.4% 25 or greater 2 1.8% Number of Hours Worked Per Week 43-48 7 6 . 2% 49-53 37 32 . 6% 54-58 21 18 . 6% 59-63 28 24 . 6% 64-69 9 7 . 9% 70 or greater 12 10.6% Note: N = 116 . One respondent did not provide the total number of years in the education profession. Two respondents did not provide the number of hours worked per week.

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86 principals were from small/medium districts with 39,999 or less students. Approximately 29% of the principals represented large districts with 40 , 000 to 100,000 students , whereas slightly less than 21 % of the principals represented very large districts with student enrollments of greater than 100 , 000 students. When conveying the demographic category that best described the district , 31 % of the principals characterized their district as mainly rural, whereas 28% described their district as mainly urban. Finally, 41 % of the principals characterized their school district as mainly suburban. Principals were asked to identify the number of students in the school, using the following categories: (a) 1-500 students , (b) 501-750 students , (c) 751-1,000 students), (d) 1,001-1,500 students , (e) 1,501-2 , 500 students , and (f) 2,501 or more students . Again, the five categories were recoded into three categories for the analysis due to the missing values in certain school enrollment categories . The resulting categories were as such : (a) 1-750 students , (b) 751-1,500 students, and (c) greater than 1 , 500 students . As a result, approximately 30% of the principals reported their school enrollments to be less than 750 students. Approximately 49% indicated a school enrollment of 751-1,500 students. Finally, slightly less than 21% reported an enrollment of 1,501 or more students . Relative to the student population, the principals were asked to select the majority racial/ethnic category of the student population of their school. Approximately 85% of the principal respondents indicated their majority racial/ethnic category for the student population to be White Non-Hispanic.

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87 Approximately 10% of the principals described their student population as primarily Black Non-Hispanic . Finally, approximately 5% of the principals reported their student population to be primarily Hispanic . Lastly , the principals were asked to select the category that best identified the Socio-Economic Status (SES) of the student population in their school. The majority (54%) of principals reported the student population in their school to be mainly middle SES . Approximately 41 % of the principals identified their student population to be mainly low SES. Only five percent of the principals reported a student population that is mainly high SES. Table 3-4 summarizes the school demographic characteristics for the principal respondents in this sample . It should be noted that of the 116 principal respondents , two respondents did not identify the majority racial/ethnic category of the student population. Likewise, two respondents also did not provide the majority SES of the student population. Instrumentation Following the introduction in this section , the Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire, Preventive Resources Inventory , and Administrative Stress Index are described in terms of their development and intended purposes. In addition to the description of the instruments, the available reliability and validity data are provided for each. Introduction Saffer (1984) conducted a systematic analysis of dissertation research on stress in educational administration . A sample of 44 dissertations completed between 1969 and 1982 was reviewed and summarized by the topic , design,

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88 Table 3-4 Principal Respondents ' School Demographic Characteristics School Demographic Characteristics Frequency School Level Elementary 38 Middle/Junior 41 Combination Middle/High 6 High 29 Other 2 District Enrollment Group/PK-12 Membership Small/Medium (39 , 999 students or less) 58 Large (40 , 000 to 100 , 000 students) 34 Very Large (greater than 100,000 students) 24 Demographic Categories of Participating Principals ' Districts Mainly rural 36 Mainly urban 32 Mainly suburban 48 School Enrollment 1-750 35 751-1 , 500 57 1 , 501 or greater 24 Majority Racial/Ethnic Category of Student Population Black Non-Hispanic 11 Hispanic 6 White Non-Hispanic 97 Majority Socio-Economic Status (SES) of Student Population Mainly low SES 47 Mainly middle SES 61 Mainly high SES 6 Valid% 32 . 8% 35 . 3% 5 . 2% 25.0% 1 . 7% 50 . 0% 29.3% 20 . 7% 31 . 0% 27 . 6% 41.4% 30 . 2% 49 . 1% 20 . 7% 9.6% 5 . 3% 85 . 1% 4 1. 2% 53 . 5% 5.3%

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89 methodology , and findings . Saffer reported that the majority of the dissertation studies within her sample focused on the causes of stress in educational administration , with only a few addressing coping strategies. The majority of these dissertation studies were correlational studies , gathered through mail surveys. Such surveys were generally the most readily available, rather than the most appropriate for the study. Saffer concluded her research by recommending the need for more varied research design, as well as an emphasis on responses to stress in order to contribute to the theory related to administration and stress . Since Saffer ' s research , studies of principals and stress have extended beyond the use of questionnaires to include observations , diaries , and actual physiological measures (Whan & Thomas , 1996) . McCarthy et al. (2001) also pointed out the limitations of available instruments for measuring coping resources . Specifically , McCarthy et al. noted that few instruments used in the literature measure coping resources , and that the repertoire of available instruments may be void of instruments that focus specifically on the measurement of resources useful primarily for the prevention of stress . The data for this study were obtained from self-report measures , with the limitations of self-report measures kept in mind. The constructs assessed were defined and measured both with existing measures and a questionnaire developed by this project investigator. Selection of the instruments was based on those instruments developed for purposes that most closely aligned with the intended focus of this study , as well as the demonstrated psychometric

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90 properties for the instruments. For this study , principals ' stress levels were measured by the Administrative Stress Index . Likewise , preventive coping resources were measured by the Preventive Resources Inventory. Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire Principal characteristics and school demographic variables were reported and described using the Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire (Appendix 0), developed by the investigator for the purpose of this study. From the participants ' responses to the questions on this instrument , the investigator was able to describe the actual sample more specifically and provide descriptive statistics for each of the identified antecedent variables (i.e ., gender , number of years of experience as a principal , approximate number of hours worked per week , enrollment group , school level , and school enrollment) . In addition , the researcher was able to provide a description of the sample ' s racial/ethnic breakdown , level of highest completed degree , age when first appointed to the principalship , total number of years as a principal , total number of years in the education profession . Likewise , completion of the Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire allowed this researcher to describe the demographic category that best depicted the districts in which the participants are principals , the majority racial/ethnic category of the student population , the category that best described the socioeconomic status level of the student population ofthe school , and the principals ' perceived stress levels .

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91 Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI) The principals ' coping resources were assessed using the Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI) , developed by Christopher McCarthy and Richard Lambert in 200 1, provided in Appendix Q. Permission to use this instrument for this study was requested through a letter to McCarthy (Appendix C) . Permission was provided by McCarthy , as shown in Appendix D . The PRI was designed to assess specific coping resources that would be most useful for stress prevention . McCarthy and Lambert drew the initial pool of items for the PRI from a review of the literature on coping resources . Secondly , the authors conducted a " qualitative focus group interview " with graduate counseling students involved i n coping research in order to identify personal qualities and characteristics of individuals considered to be effective in preventive coping. A total of 80 items were written , to be used in subsequent pilot studies . McCarthy , Lambert , Beard , and Dematatis (2001) examined the construct validity of the PRI , the convergent and discriminant validity of the PRI with related constructs , as well as the criterion-related validity as a predictor of perceived stress levels . Evidence for the convergent and discriminant validity of the PRI was provided by theoretically consistent relationships with the constructs of self efficacy , general coping resources , and coping strategies . Through hierarchical regression analyses , McCarthy et al. were able to demonstrate the relationships between the scales of the PRI and perceived levels of stress , when controlling for the effects of the incidence of negative life events. In their study , these researchers recruited 501 undergraduate students from a large Southwestern

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92 university . The researchers reported that the results of the principal components with varimax rotation analysis of the PRI indicated that 20 of the original items presented ambiguities and interpretation difficulties for respondents , as well as did not fit into any reasonable factor solution . Once these 20 items were removed , five fundamental factors were identified , accounting for 46 . 83% o f the variance in the items: (a) Perceived Control , (b) Maintaining Perspective , (c) Social Resourcefulness , (d) Humor , and (e) Organization. McCarthy et al. claimed that each of the factors loaded at .4 or above on only one factor with the exception of a few items which were retained in a cross over scale labeled Self-Acceptance . None of the items on the latter scale was from the origina l 20 deleted items. They reported that the items were correlated moderately with all of the factors , though not highly with any one factor . The total scale score for the PRI was labeled Preventive Resources. This score draws information from the resulting 50 items that load on the five factors , in addition to the 10 items on the Self-Acceptance scale. The 60-items for the five factors and additional cross-over factor are presented as statements , to which the respondent disagrees or agrees on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The Perceived Control factor is typified in the statement "I can handle most things. " " I am able to avoid causing myself stress by keeping things in perspectives " had the highest factor loading on the Maintaining Perspective factor. Similarly , " I have mutually supportive relationships " was found to be the principal item for the Social Resourcefulness construct. " I use Humor to keep difficulties from becoming stressful " is an example from the Humor

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93 construct , as well as the item with the highest factor loading . The Organizat i on factor was typified by " I stay organized. " Finally , the Self-Acceptance factor related to the broad features of balance and acceptance , as well as one's beliefs and behaviors indicating acceptance of themselves , others and the world . This factor included items such as " I know who I am " and " I lead a well rounded life ." Reliability , as measured by Cronbach alphas were calculated for the sample and reported to be adequate for each of the five scales: Perceived Control (14 items) (alpha= . 909) , Maintaining Perspective (14 items) (alpha= . 87) , Social Resourcefulness (14 items) (alpha= . 87) , Organization (4 items) (alpha= . 743) , Humor (four items) (alpha= . 810), Self-Acceptance (10 items) (alpha = . 70). The total score , Preventive Resources , yielded an alpha for the sample of undergraduate students of .94 (McCarthy et al.). Convergent and discriminant validity coefficients were derived from a multi-trait multi-method matrix . The factors of the PRI were compared with other measures used to represent constructs related to preventive coping , though not seen as measuring the exact same construct as the preventive coping resources measured on the PRI. Specifically , comparisons were conducted with measures of self-efficacy (the Self-Efficacy Scale , SES) , interpersonal functioning (the Social Connectedness Scale , SCS) , coping strategies (the Multidimensional Coping Inventory , COPE) , and general coping resources (the Coping Resources Inventory , CRI) . The total Preventive Resources score correlated highly across several measures such as General Efficacy (r = . 547) , Social Connectedness

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94 (I= .522), Emotional Resources (I= .537) , Cognitive Resources (I = . 603) , and Social Resources (I = .558) . McCarthy et al. claimed that many of the predicted relationships were observed through their analysis . In contrast , many statistically significant negative correlations were noted between the PRI factors and Ineffective Coping Strategies, with none of the coefficients having an absolute value greater than .215. Specifically, the PRI scales did not correlate very h i ghly with Ineffective Coping Strategies from the COPE (r = -0 . 135) . Additional comparisons were made between the PRI factors and the individual coping strategy scales from the COPE , with correlations ranging from r = -0 . 002 to .574 . The Humor scale from the PRI had the highest correlation with the Humor coping strategy from the COPE (I= . 574) . Finally , McCarthy et al. (2001) examined whether the PRI total score was associated with measures of perceived stress and distress , conducting four separate hierarchical linear regression models . Prior to the regression analyses , McCarthy et al. correlated the individual PRI scores with the outcome measures on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21 (HCL-21 ) , which was designed to measure feelings of distress . The magnitude of the relationships was reported to be small to moderate in strength , ranging from r = . 166 to . 503 , with all being statistically significant at Q < .05. Overall , the PRI total score was negatively associated with performance difficulty , general distress , total symptomatology scores from the HCL-21 and the total perceived stress score from the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) , when controlling for the total negative life events measured by the Life Experiences Survey (LES) . In addition , the PRI accounted for a

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95 statistically significant increase in the variance (! = .049 .198) for all outcome measures, when holding constant the Negative Life Events . Administrative Stress Index (ASI) For the purposes of this study, principals ' perceived stressors and stress levels were operationalized using the Administrative Stress Index (ASI), developed by Gmelch and Swent in 1982. Permission to use the instrument for this study was requested of Gmelch (Appendix A). This permission was acknowledged by Gmelch , granted the copyright was cited and a summary of the results are provided to Gmelch. A copy of the consent is provided in Appendix B. Through the development of this instrument, Gmelch and Swent aspired to measure sources of administrators' job-related stress, with the intent of capturing the various relevant aspects of their job and the sources of stress that were particularly unique to the roles of public school administrators. The core of the Administrative Stress Index initially evolved from a 15-item Job-Related Strain Index, originally developed by lndik, Seashore, and Slesinger in 1964. The initial Index was supplemented by items alluded to within the literature from public school administrators' publications, as well as by items suggested from stress logs kept by 40 school administrators over a one-week period. Participants in this initial phase were asked to keep a diary of the single most stressful incident occurring that day, as well as the most stressful sequence or series of related incidents (i.e. , parent-teacher conflicts and recurring phone interruptions). In addition , the 40 participants were asked to identify, at the end of the week , other sources of stress that might not have actually occurred during the week in

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96 which the stress logs were kept. The resultant 23-item instrument reportedly assessed sources of stress which were specific to administrative roles and to the roles of public school principals in particular. The stressors were written in the form of questions , with the responses ranging from Rarely to Frequently on a 5-point Likert-type scale . Following the compilation of the 23 items , the authors field tested the questions for clarity and validity with a group of 25 practicing administrators . Upon completion of this initial test , the questionnaire was revised and tested on 20 administrators . The resultant Administrative Stress Index included 35 items that factored into four administrative stress sources : (a) role-based stress , (b) task-based stress , (c) boundary-spanning stress , and (d) conflict-mediating stress (Gmelch & Chan , 1994 ; Gmelch & Swent , 1984). Mean scores ranged from 3.42 on the item perceived as most stressful to 1.42 on the item perceived as least stressful. Likewise , those stressors perceived by the administrators as the most stressful had the greatest variance , due to the spread in the responses . The corresponding stressors , their respective ranks , means , and standard deviations are presented in Table 3-5 . A copy of the Administrative Stress Index is provided in Appendix P. Koch , Tung , Gmelch , and Swent's research in 1982 sought to demonstrate the multidimensionality of the construct of stress . From a sample of school administrators in Oregon , 1 , 156 usable surveys were returned for a return rate of 62% . The researchers subsequently randomly divided the 1 , 156 surveys into demographically matched subsamples (n = 578) , allowing for replication of the factor structures . No significant differences were noted in the sample

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97 Table 3-5 Ranks, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Individual Stressors as Re~orted by Gmelch and Swent (1984) Item Mean SD Rank Compliance with state , federal , and organizational rules and policies 3 . 34 1 . 29 1 Feeling that meetings take up too much time 3 . 10 1 . 22 2 Trying to complete reports and other paper work on time 2 . 99 1.20 3 Trying to gain public approval and/or financial support for school 2 . 97 1 . 20 4 programs Trying to resolve parenUschool conflicts 2 . 82 1 . 14 5 Evaluating staff members ' performance 2 . 79 1.15 6 Having to make decisions that affect the lives of individual people that 2 . 77 1.11 7 I know (colleagues , staff members , students , etc . ) Feeling that I have too heavy a work load , one that I cannot possibly 2 . 72 1 . 32 8 finish during the normal work day Imposing excessively high expectations on myself 2 . 70 1.20 9 Being interrupted frequently by telephone calls 2 . 67 1 . 06 10 Feeling I have to participate in school activities outside of the normal 2.67 1 . 25 11 working hours at the expenses of my personal time Handling student discipline problems 2 . 58 1.19 12 Feeling that the progress on my job is not what it should or could be 2 . 51 1 . 13 13 Feeling staff members don ' t understand my goals and expectations 2.44 1 . 02 14 Trying to resolve differences between/among staff members 2.43 1 . 05 15 Being involved in the collective bargaining process 2 . 39 1 . 29 16 Writing memos , letters and other communications 2 . 37 1 . 11 17 Administering the negotiated contract (grievances , interpretation , etc . ) 2.36 1 . 09 18 Supervising and coordinating the tasks of many people 2 . 35 1 . 08 19 Trying to resolve differences between/among students 2 . 33 1 . 11 20 Thinking that I will not be able to satisfy the conflicting demands of 2 . 30 1 . 18 21 those who had authority over me Preparing and allocating budget resources 2 . 30 1.08 22 Having my work frequently interrupted by staff members who want to 2.28 1 . 09 23 talk Knowing I can ' t get information needed to carry out my job properly 2.23 1 . 12 24 Feeling pressure for better job performance over and above what I 2 . 23 1 . 14 25 think is reasonable Trying to influence my immediate supervisor's actions and decisions 2.22 1 . 11 26 that affect me Not knowing what my supervisor thinks of me , or how he/she 2 . 20 1.21 27 evaluates my performance Feeling that I have too little authority to carry out responsibilities 2 . 10 1 . 21 28 assigned to me Speaking in front of groups 2 . 04 1.13 29 Being unclear on just what the scope and responsibilities of my job are 2 . 02 1 . 07 30 Attempting to meet social expectations (housing , clubs , friends , etc.) 1 . 97 1 . 08 31 Trying to resolve differences with my superiors 1 . 97 1 . 11 32 Feeling that I have too much responsibility delegated to me by my 1 . 88 1 . 05 33 supervisor Feeling that I am not fully qualified to handle my job 1 . 71 0 . 92 34 Feeling not enough is exeected of me by my sueeriors 1.42 0.78 35

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98 distributions according to age , position , or number of years of administrative experience . The researchers tested the underlying structure of the 35-item Administrative Stress Index using a principal components varimax solution , with a minimum specified eigenvalue of 1.0 . Items that failed to load at least . 30 on any factor were dropped from the researchers ' subsequent analyses . T en items failed to meet this criterion and thus were dropped . The varimax rotated factor matrices for the remaining 25 items for both subsamples indicated that the items clustered around four interpretable factors . The first factor , labeled role-based stress , accounted for 50% of the common variance . Items on this factor related to the administrator ' s beliefs or attitudes about specific roles in the organization . Seven items comprised this factor , with six of the seven items taken from the original Job-Related Stress Index . The second factor on the ASI accounted for 22% of the common variance and was termed task-based stress . Specifically , 8 of the 10 items on this dimension were derived from the stress logs developed during the pilot phases of the instrument design , as well as through content analysis of the relevant literature specific to administrators. This factor tapped into particular activities , rather than the role or interpersonal stressors within the administrators ' job duties . Specifically , task-based stress related to the performance of day-to-day administrative tasks , including the coordination and communication activities that tend to place extreme time demands on administrators .

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99 Boundary-spanning stress , the third factor on the Administrative Stress Index , explained 16% of the common variance . Sources of boundary-spanning stress originated from the activities administrators engage in when relating the school to the external environment , such as collective bargaining , gain i ng public support , or dealing for with regulatory agencies. The fourth factor on the Administrative Stress Index , conflict-mediating stress , accounted 12% of the common variance . Items for this factor were once again developed in pilot phases of the instrument design and related to the resolution of parent/school conflicts. Koch et al. tested the consistency of the factor loadings by calculating the z-transformation statistic for testing the significance of the differences between the two subsamples correlation coefficients . Significant differences (p < .05) were noted for only 5 of the 25 paired ASI items. The practical significance of the differences in the factor loadings for these five items , however , was considered to be small. Koch et al. (1982) further tested the multidimensionality of the ASI by calculating coefficient alphas and factor correlations. For each of the samples , the coefficient alphas were .70 or higher for each dimension. However , the researchers cautioned that these coefficients overestimate true reliabilities. Instead , they " represent maximum values for the off-diagonals and are biased in a positive direction " (p . 495) . The average amount of shared variance between factors was found to be less than 1 % , with factor intercorrelations ranging from .14 to . 02. Likewise , the researchers have suggested further support for conceptualizing job-related stress

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100 as a multidimensional construct was demonstrated by the fact that the "median item correlations within factors were within two and one-half times the between factors item correlations" (p. 495). Reliability of Instruments Test reliability refers to the accuracy, consistency, stability, and precision of test scores (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996). The authors note that when a characteristic is measured and described in terms of a score on a test instrument, there is always some amount of measurement error. This error is described as the difference between the individual's true score on the test and the scores that might actually be obtained on the instrument over a variety of administrations. The lesser the amount of measurement error, the more reliable the instrument. The greater the amount of measurement error, the less reliable the instrument. Cronbach's coefficient alpha (a) is commonly used for estimating test score reliability in which the individual items of the test are examined. By using SPSS v11.0, the reliability estimates for both the Administrative Stress Index and the Preventive Resources Inventory were estimated. In order to verify the reliability of the Administrative Stress Index prior to its selection for use in the study, a pilot study was carried out. Specific procedures for carrying out the pilot study are delineated in the following section. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaires, this examiner examined the reliability coefficients and item-total correlations derived from the sample. Coefficients of .7 or higher were considered acceptable for the use of the instrument within the actual study. By

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101 using SPSS v11.0 , a Cronbach ' s alpha of .9450 was obtained . This indicated an acceptable level for usage of this instrument within the actual research study. The actual research study again confirmed adequate reliability of the Administrative Stress Index. In addition , the reliability coefficient for the Preventive Resources Inventory was considered to be adequate. The Cronbach ' s alpha for the item-total correlations are reported in Table 3-6. Table 3-6 Reliability Coefficients Instrument Administrative Stress Index (pilot study) Administrative Stress Index (actual study) Preventive Resources Inventory Procedures Number of Items 35 35 60 Cronbach Alpha . 9450 . 9214 . 9514 This section provides an overview of the specific research process and data collection methods . It is divided into two subsections: (a) the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index , and (b) the actual study of principals ' preventive coping resources and stress levels. Pilot Study Babbie (1973) provided guidelines for conducting pilot studies , noting that a pilot study differs from a final study generally in scale. First , Babbie proposed that pilot studies should be conducted with a representative sample of the target population , drawn much like the sample for the final study (Babbie , 1973). However, it is not essential , or possibly feasible , to have the sample size for the pilot study as large as the sample for the final study . Pilot study questionnaires

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102 generally contain the questions that are to be used in the final study , presented in the same order , wording , and format. Finally , data collection for a pilot stud y should be representative of the final study design . After obtaining approval from the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (UFIRB) as shown in Appendices F and H , this researcher sought the participation of a random sample of public school principals for the study of the reliability and item-total correlations of the Administrative Stress Index . The resultant sample was described above in the participant section of Chapter 3 . A cover letter, which also served as the Informed Consent (Appendix G) , the Participant Questionnaire (Appendix I) , and a copy of the Administrative Stress Index (Appendix J) was mailed to the principals ' residences via U.S . Mail. The Informed Consent explained the voluntary nature of the study , the components of the Informed Consent , and the directions for completion of the questionnaires . Participants wishing to take part in the study were asked to complete a Participant Questionnaire (Appendix I) , which requested information regarding their gender , racial/ethnic category , level of highest degree , current age at the time of the completion of the questionnaire , level of school , number of students enrolled in the school in which they work, the total number of years in the education profession , and the total number of years the individual has been a principal in their educational career. In addition to the aforementioned questionnaire , the participants were asked to complete the 35-item Administrative Stress Index .

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103 Two weeks after the initial mailing to the _ principals, 10 surveys had been received. A second mailing was conducted in an effort to increase the return rate to at least 50%. Again, this mailing included the Informed Consent, a copy of the Administrative Stress Index, and two pre-stamped envelopes for the separate return of the consent and the questionnaire. A total of 25 surveys were returned from the first and second mailings, representing an 83% response rate. Research Study Succeeding the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index, the following procedure was used to conduct the research and to collect data for this study. Approval from the UFIRB was applied for using the protocol presented in Appendix K. Following this approval, as noted in Appendices Mand N , the sample of principals was drawn. Each principal was assigned a seven-digit code to assist in the identification of participating principals for the second mailing . This code was placed on the Letter of Informed Consent, rather than the survey; again, assuring anonymity of the principals who had completed surveys. A questionnaire packet was mailed to the residences of the randomly selected principals, using the listing of principals' addresses obtained through the Florida Department of Education Information and Accountability Services. The mailed packet included : (a) a letter of Informed Consent delineating the Institutional Review Board requirements, purpose of the study, and instructions for the completion and return of the Informed Consent and questionnaires (Appendix L); (b) the questionnaire packet, including the Principal Characteristics/Demographic Questionnaire (Appendix O); the Preventive Resources Inventory (Appendix Q);

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104 and Administrative Stress Index (Appendix P); and (d) two pre-addressed stamped envelopes for the separate return of the completed questionnaires and the Informed Consent. This provision of two separate envelopes for the return of the questionnaire and consent assisted in ensuring participant anonymity. The aforementioned introductory letter also explained the proposed means of compensation for the study. Participants were asked to identify their choice for a $15 gift card, given a variety of store or restaurant choices (Appendix S). The gift cards, in turn, were mailed to the principal respondents, along with a note of appreciation for their time and input. With regards to the expected response rate, Babbie (1973) noted that "a response rate of at least 50 percent is adequate for analysis and reporting. A response rate of at least 60 percent is good. And a response rate of 70 percent or more is very good" (p. 165). Babbie added, however, that such percentages are considered to be rough estimates, rather than statistically demonstrated figures. A review of the literature specific to the field of education has shown various response rates, with return rates of 34.5% for Doud's national study of K-8 principals (1989), and approximately 44% evidenced for Doud and Keller's national study of K-8 principals in 1998. A survey of dissertation research studies' response rates also shows considerable variability, with an average response rate of 60% for dissertations completed within a single state. For this study, an acceptable response rate was 50%. In addition to the previously mentioned compensation method, the response rate was maximized through the use of a follow-up mailing. The

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105 literature on follow-up mailings has noted that this is an effective way to maximize the response rate in mail surveys . Babbie (1973) reported that trends are noted in the response rates with mail surveys when follow-up mailings are sent. Specifically , within two weeks after the first mailing , approximately 40% of the questionnaires are generally returned. An additional 20% are received after the initial follow-up mailing, while another 10% are received after the second follow-up mailing . It was recommended that such follow-up mailings occur within two to three weeks of the initial mailing . Two weeks after the initial mailing for this study, a follow-up letter (Appendix R} , a second letter of Informed Consent , a new copy of the questionnaire packet; and two pre-addressed stamped envelopes were mailed to the principals who had not returned the Letter of Consent within the desired 14-day period asking them to complete the questionnaire. Upon receipt of the desired number of completed surveys , the data analysis was carried out using SPSS v11.0. Data Analysis This section delineates the procedures used for the data analyses . First , the descriptive statistics were obtained for all variables within the study. In addition , the appropriate analyses were conducted for each hypothesis . This study investigated the strength of the association between preventive coping resources and administrator stress levels , or mediational role of preventive coping resources , when controlling for the effects of principal characteristics and school demographic variables . Principal characteristics included gender , years of experience as a principal , and the average number of

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106 hours worked per week. School demographic variables included district enrollment group , school level , and student enrollment. The principal characteristics and school demographic variables were treated as the antecedent variables and administrative stress levels as the outcome variable when exploring their relationships. In addition , principal gender , years of experience as a principal , average number of hours worked per week , district enrollment group, school level , and student enrollment were treated as the antecedent variables when examining their relationship with preventive coping resources , the mediating variable . Within the multiple regression analyses , the principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and the principals ' self-reported preventive coping resources were the antecedent variables ; while the principals ' perceptions of their stress level was the outcome variable. The model for this study was illustrated in Figure 1-2 . Multiple regression is used to determine the correlation between an outcome or criterion variable and a combination of two or more antecedent variables . Gall , Borg and Gall (1996) have pointed out the positive features of multiple regression , including the amount of information it yields about the relationships among the variables; its ability to accommodate interval , ordinal , or categorical data from various research designs; as well as the fact that it provides estimates of the magnitude and statistical significance of relationships between variables . The primary intent of this study was to investigate the strength of the association between preventive coping resources and administrator stress levels , or the mediational role of preventive coping

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107 resources, when controlling for the effects of principal characteristics and school demographic variables. Therefore, regression analyses were used throughout the study to determine relationships among the various antecedent and outcome variables. A regression model provides a structural model that represents the relationship between two quantifiable variables, x and y . The regression equation is considered to be an efficient form for summarizing the association or relationship between the antecedent variable(s) and the outcome variable. To the extent that the regression equation correctly describes the general association between the antecedent and outcome variables, predictions to other sets of values may be made (Babbie, 1973). Baron and Kenny's (1986) model for testing mediation was delineated within the individual hypotheses and analyses. To reiterate, the researcher estimated regression equations for the following: (a) regressing the mediator on the antecedent (or independent) variables, (b) regressing the outcome (or dependent) variable on the mediating variable, and (c) regressing the outcome variable on the antecedent and mediating variables . In this study, the role of preventive coping resources as a mediating variable was tested through the following conditions. First, variations in the levels of the antecedent variables significantly had to account for variations in the mediating variable . That is , principal characteristics and school demographic variables had to affect or show a significant relationship to principals' preventive coping resources . Secondly, the mediating variable had to be associated with the

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108 outcome variable in the aforementioned second equation. Again, the mediating variable (preventive coping resources) had to show some association to principals' levels of stress, or the outcome variable. Finally, when controlling for the antecedent and mediating variables, the significant relationship noted earlier between the antecedent and outcome variables would no longer be significant. Baron and Kenny note that "the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable must be less in the third equation than in the second. Perfect mediation holds if the independent variable has no effect when the mediator is controlled" (p. 1177) . In contrast, Baron and Kenny stated that if the residual in this latter condition is not zero, there is an indication that there are multiple mediating factors occurring. The initial data analyses provided descriptive statistics for all variables under investigation, including the mean and standard deviation. In addition, the violations of assumptions of regression (i.e., linearity, homogeneity of variance, normality, and independence of errors) were checked through a review of the scatterplots and the residuals. Following the initial descriptive analyses for this study, a series of multiple regression equations were used to explore the interrelationships among the antecedent variables and the outcome variable. Particular emphasis was placed on the association between preventive coping resources and principals' stress levels, when controlling for the effects of the principal characteristics and school demographic variables . First, the association between the principal characteristics, school demographic variables, and the self reported principals' preventive coping resources was examined for statistical

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109 significance . Following this, the association between the principals ' prevent i ve coping resources and principals' stress levels was examined for statistical significance . Next , the associations between the principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and principals ' stress levels were explored for significance . Finally, the mediational role of preventive coping resources , when controlling for the effects of principal characteristics and school demograph i c variables , was tested for statistical significance. For this study, the regression coefficients were used to analyze the relationships among each of the principal characteristics , the school demographic variables , the principals ' preventive coping resources and the ir stress levels. The categorical variables were dummy coded in this study . Cohen and Cohen (1983) note the requirements for dummy coding , including the need for the observations to be "assignable to mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories " (p. 183) . The statistical tests for regression included testing the omnibus and specific hypotheses , when appropriate . The omnibus hypothesis tested the overall model fit for the population ; answering the question , "Was the model associated with a significant proportion of the total variance? " The specific hypotheses tests examined whether or not the specific variables were significantly associated with the outcome variable . In particular , each of the relationships , or R2s was tested for statistical significance to determine if they were statistically significant. This significance indicated whether each of the antecedent variables contributed to the prediction of the outcome variable , over and above each of the other antecedent variables. This was based on the

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110 F statistic (Bobko , 2001 ; Cohen & Cohen , 1983 ; Gall , Borg , & Gall , 1996) . To determine the relative contribution of each antecedent variable when appropriate , the squared semi-partial correlation was calculated for each variable. This correlation (r2) represented the proportion of the total variance that was associated with each antecedent variable over and above the contributions of the others. The alpha level was set at p = . 05 for all tests. This chapter reiterated the specific research questions and relevant hypotheses being investigated . In addition , it provided a description of the population and samples for the study ; an overview of the Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire , the Preventive Resources Inventory , and the Administrative Stress Index used in the study . This overview of the instruments focused on their development , intended purposes , and available reliability and validity data . Chapter 3 also included the methodology for the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index for additional reliability and item total correlations data , as well as the procedure for the final study . Likewise , the requirements for University of Florida ' s Institutional Review Board approval and the process for data collection were reviewed . Finally , the procedures for the various data analyses were delineated. In the subsequent chapter , this researcher presents the results of the data analyses.

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CHAPTER4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF DATA Introduction The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among principal characteristics, school demographic variables , and preventive coping resources in relation to principals ' levels of stress . In addition , the extent to which preventive coping resources accounted for differences in principals ' stress levels was investigated . For this study , preventive coping resources were believed to function as a means (the mediator) through which the principal characteristics and the school demographic variables (the antecedent variables) , were able to influence principals ' stress levels (the outcome variable) . Principal characteristics and school demographic variables comprised the two sets of antecedent variables . Principal characteristics included gender , number of years of experience as a principal , and the number of hours worked per week . School demographic variables included the district enrollment group (small/medium , medium , large , and very large) ; school level (elementary, middle , high) ; and school enrollment (1-750 , 751-1 , 500 , 1,500 or more students). Again, principals ' self-reported preventive coping resources were treated as the mediating variable, while principals ' stress levels were treated as the outcome variable . The study was guided by a mediational model proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986) . The questions, hypotheses , and subsequent analyses were guided by the conditions and steps delineated in this mediational model. 111

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112 Specifically, the following questions and hypotheses were addressed in the study. Question 1 What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in Florida? Question 2 What are the current preventive coping resources of public school principals in Florida? Hypothesis 1 Principal characteristics (i.e. , gender, years of experience as a principal, and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables (district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment) are related to principals ' preventive coping resources . Hypothesis 2 Principals ' preventive coping resources are related to their stress levels , with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and variety of preventive coping resources . Hypothesis 3 Principals ' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between principal characteristics (i.e., gender, number of years of experience as a principal, number of hours worked per week), school demographic variables (i.e., district enrollment group, school level , and school enrollment) , and principals' stress levels.

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113 Analyses and Quantitative Results Babbie (1973) noted that frequently with survey research , some respondents fail to answer one or more questions . Although he proposed six methods of deal i ng with missing data, Babbie also noted that the choice of how missing data are handled depends on the research situation . For the purposes of this study , SPSS v11 . 0 treated missing data through listwise deletion . All cases that had missing values for any of the variables in the regression were excluded from the computation of the regression statistics. Data were included in each analysis only if complete data were available. This process led to subsets of varying sizes, yet , ensured that the sample size was kept to a maximum for each analysis. The number of principal participants used in the analyses is reported in the results for each question and hypotheses . All statistical tests were conducted at alpha = . 05 . The findings from this study are presented in terms of the questions and hypotheses stated below. Question 1 What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in Florida? Analysis Principal respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 ( " Rarely " to " Frequently " ) to what degree 35 work related situations " bothered them or were sources of concern ." The identification of the perceived stressors of public school principals in Florida was analyzed through the provision of descriptive statistics for these stressors , including each variable ' s measures of central tendency and

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114 variance . Table 4-1 ranks in descending order the perceived stressors identified by the principals . Item means ranged from 3 . 38 to 1 . 18 . Further analysis of the reported perceived stressors revealed that 60% of the top ten perceived stressors were related to task-based activities . Likewise , another 20% were related to boundary spanning activities. Koch , Tung , Gmelch , and Swent (1982) described task-based activities as the performance of one ' s day-to-day administrative tasks. In contrast, boundary spanning activities refer to the administrator ' s activities in relating the school to the external environmen t (i.e ., gaining public support for school budgets, dealing with regulating agencies , and collective bargaining) . The top ten stressors are presented again in Table 4-2 , along with the frequencies of the principals ' responses. Item responses were 1 = Rarely or Never Bothers Me , 3 = Occasionally Bothers Me , 5 = Frequently Bothers Me . Item responses 2 and 4 were uncoded . Question 2 What are the current preventive coping resources of public school principals in Florida? Analysis Us i ng the Preventive Resources Inventory , principals indicated their level of agreement with statements about personal habits relative to the prevention of stress . The Likert-item responses ranged from 1 to 5 , ranging from " Strongly Disagree " to " Strongly Agree . " The identification of principals ' preventive coping resources was analyzed through the provision of descriptive statistics , includ i ng

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115 Table 4-1 Princii;2als ' Perceived Stressors as Measured on the Administrative Stress Index Rank Perceived Stressor Item SD Mean 1 Feeling I have too heavy a work load , one that I cannot 3 . 38 1 . 25 possibly finish during the normal work day 2 Trying to complete reports and other paperwork on 3 . 34 .99 time 3 Trying to gain public approval and/or financial support 3 . 37 1. 1 5 for school programs 4 Feeling that meetings take up too much time 3 . 26 1.01 5 Trying to resolve parent/school conflicts 3 . 26 1 . 04 6 Complying with state, federal , and organizational rules 3 . 19 . 99 and procedures 7 Imposing excessively high expectations on myself 3 . 16 1.26 8 Being interrupted frequently by telephone calls 3 . 03 1 .1 4 9 Having to make decisions that affect the lives of 3.02 1.02 individual people that I know (colleagues , staff members , students , etc.) 10 Feeling that I have to participate in school activities 2.88 1 . 30 outside of the normal working hours at the expense of my personal time . 11 Feeling that the progress on my job is not what it 2.67 1.15 should or could be 12 Thinking that what I will not be able to satisfy the 2.62 1 . 13 conflicting demands of those who have authority over me 13 Preparing and allocating budget resources 2 . 58 1.15

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116 Table 4-1. Continued Rank Perceived Stressor Item SD Mean 14 Knowing I can't get information needed to carry out my 2.56 1.04 job properly 16 Trying to resolve differences between/among staff 2.54 1.04 members 17 Handling student discipline problems 2 . 51 1 . 11 18 Evaluating staff members' performance 2.45 1 . 06 19 Supervising and coordinating the tasks of many people 2.42 1.08 20 Feeling pressure for better job performance over and 2.42 1.08 above what I think is reasonable 21 Feeling staff members don't understand my goals and 2.30 1 . 00 expectations 22 Trying to influence my immediate supervisor's actions 2.24 1 . 06 and decisions that affect me 23 Trying to resolve differences between/among students 2.21 .98 24 Feeling that I have too little authority to carry out 2.21 1.13 responsibilities assigned to me 25 Administering the negotiated contract (grievances, 2 . 07 1 . 07 interpretation, etc . ) 26 Writing memos, letters and other communications 2.05 .98 27 Feeling that I have too much responsibility delegated 2.02 1.12 to me by my supervisors 28 Attempting to meet social expectations (housing, clubs, 1 . 97 1 . 06 friends, etc . ) 29 Not knowing what my supervisor thinks of me, or how 1.91 1 . 14 he/she evaluates my performance

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117 Table 4-1. Continued Rank Perceived Stressor 30 Being involved in the collective bargaining process 31 Being unclear on just what the scope and responsibilities assigned to me 32 Trying to resolve differences with my supervisors 33 Speaking in front of groups 34 Feeling that I am not qualified to handle my job 35 Feeling that not enough is expected of me by my supervisors Item Mean 1.83 1.63 1 . 59 1 . 59 1.37 1.18 SD 1.07 .74 .87 . 91 .80 . 47 Note : Item responses were 1 = Rarely or Never Bothers Me, 3 = Occasionally Bothers Me, 5 = Frequently Bothers Me. Responses 2 and 4 were uncoded .

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118 Table 4-2 Frequencies of Responses for Top Ten Perceived Stressors Rank Perceived Stressor Response Frequency Valid% 1 Feeling that I have too heavy a 1 9 7 . 8% work load , one that I cannot 2 20 17 . 2% possibly finish during the normal work day 3 34 29 . 3% 4 24 20 . 7% 5 29 25 . 0% 2 Trying to complete reports and 1 5 4 . 3% other paperwork on time 2 13 11 . 2% 3 50 43.1% 4 33 28.4% 5 15 12 . 9% 3 Trying to gain public approval 1 9 7 . 8% and/or financial support for 2 15 12 . 9% school programs 3 41 35 . 3% 4 30 25 . 9% 5 21 18 . 1% 4 Feeling that meetings take up 1 4 3 . 5% too much time 2 20 17.4% 3 48 41 . 7% 4 28 24 . 3% 5 15 13 . 0% 5 Trying to resolve parenUschool 1 8 6 . 9% conflicts 2 14 12 . 1% 3 47 40 . 5% 4 34 29 . 3% 5 13 1 1 . 2%

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119 Table 4-2. Continued Rank Perceived Stressor Response Frequency Valid% 6 Complying with state , federal, 1 7 6 . 0% and organizational rules and 2 14 12 . 1% procedures 3 58 50.0% 4 24 20.7% 5 13 11.2% 7 Imposing excessively high 1 15 12 . 9% expectations on myself 2 20 17 . 2% 3 31 26 . 7% 4 31 26.7% 5 19 16.4% 8 Being interrupted frequently by 1 15 12 . 9% telephone calls 2 19 16.4% 3 38 32.8% 4 35 30.2% 5 9 7 . 8% 9 Having to make decisions that 1 11 9 . 5% affect the lives of individual 2 20 17.2% people I know (colleagues , staff members , students , etc . ) 3 47 40 . 5% 4 32 27 . 6% 5 6 5.2% 10 Feeling that I have to 1 20 17.2% participate in school activities 2 29 25.0% outside of the normal working hours at the expense of my 3 28 24 . 1% personal time 4 23 19 . 8% 5 16 13 . 8% Note: N = 116.

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120 the measures of central tendency and variance. Table 4-3 ranks in descending order the preventive coping resources identified by the principals . Item means ranged from 4.61 to 3.24. Further analysis of the principals' preventive coping resources revealed that 70% of the top ten resources related to the principals' perceived control or one's ability to handle things. The top ten preventive coping resources are presented again in Table 4-4, along with the frequencies of the principals ' responses. Hypothesis Testing In this study, preventive coping resources were believed to function as a mediator though which the principal characteristics and the school demographic variables (the antecedent or independent variables), were able to influence principals' stress levels (the outcome variable). Using the model displayed in Figure 1-2, principals' preventive coping resources were tested as a mediating variable. The hypotheses for this study were constructed to test for mediation . The three steps delineated by Baron and Kenny (1986) for testing the conditions of mediation were followed. Specifically, Hypothesis 1 addressed step one of the model, testing the relationship or association between the mediating variable and the two sets of antecedent variables. Similarly, Hypothesis 2 addressed the second step of the model, examining the association between the outcome variable and the mediating variable. Finally, Hypothesis 3 addressed step three of the model, in which the association between the outcome variable and both the antecedent and mediating variables was tested.

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121 Table 4-3 Princigals' Preventive Caging Resources as Measured on the Preventive Resources Inventory Rank Preventive Coping Resource Item SD Mean 1 I can handle most things 4 . 61 . 51 2 I know who I am 4.55 . 53 3 I can laugh at myself 4.53 . 61 4 I can handle most stressful situations 4.49 . 52 5 I can learn new tasks 4.47 .54 6 I have strengths, which allow me to overcome 4.45 .52 obstacles 7 I know how to think about situations in a positive 4.43 . 61 way 8 I can adapt to change 4.41 . 61 9 I usually succeed at whatever I try 4.41 . 56 10 If I fail in one situation , I know I can still succeed 4.39 . 56 in other situations. 11 I have goals that keep me focused 4 . 37 . 63 12 I can trust my own judgment 4 . 37 . 63 13 I accept the input of others 4.36 .55 14 My sense of humor helps keep my stress level 4.36 .66 under control 15 I use humor to keep others at ease 4.36 . 79 16 I can solve most of the problems I face 4.34 . 56 17 I know how to learn from my mistakes 4.34 .56 18 I can find the bright side to most situations 4.34 .63

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122 Table 4-3 . Continued Rank Preventive Coping Resource Item SD Mean 19 I know how to make others feel comfortable 4.30 . 64 20 I use humor to keep difficulties from becoming 4 . 27 . 7 3 stressful 21 I have others to call upon when needed 4.25 .76 22 Other people consider me helpful 4 . 24 .65 23 I know I can't be all things to all people 4 . 23 . 79 24 I know how to keep my options open 4 . 20 . 55 25 I am a flexible person 4 . 20 . 70 26 I am able to use constructive criticism 4 . 20 . 64 27 I am able to reduce stress in my life by focusing 4 . 18 .74 on my values 28 I form mutually supportive relationships 4 . 18 . 67 29 I am in control of my life 4 . 18 .74 30 I can usually see many ways to attack a 4 . 17 . 65 problem 31 I know my own limits 4 . 16 .73 32 I form mutually beneficial relationships with 4 . 16 .68 others 33 I believe the difficulties I am facing will not last 4 . 14 . 91 forever 34 I have friends and relative who can help me 4.13 . 77 avoid trouble in my life 35 I am able to reduce stress in my life by focusing 4 . 12 . 68 on my priorities

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123 Table 4-3 . Continued Rank Preventive Coping Resource Item SD Mean 36 I have limitations 4.09 .69 37 I am able to prevent stress by accepting 4.09 . 63 responsibilities rather than avoiding them 38 I know how to delegate tasks to others 4.08 . 87 39 I can communicate my needs to others 4.07 .78 40 I see problems as opportunities to grow and 4.05 .74 learn 41 I know how to make social situations more 4 . 05 .78 comfortable 42 I know what is best for me 4 . 03 .70 43 I know how to prepare for stressful situations 4.03 .64 44 I am able to divide up tasks with others in a way 4 . 03 . 73 that benefits others 45 I ask for help 4 . 03 .87 46 I may not always get what I want 4 . 02 .82 47 I know how to handle stress 3 . 98 .71 48 I know when I need to "go with the flow" to 3 . 95 . 62 prevent a situation from becoming stressful 49 I am able to avoid causing myself stress by 3.90 . 71 keeping things in perspective 50 I know how to pick the right coping strategy for 3.90 .68 the right situation 51 I keep failures and difficulties in perspective 3.89 . 73 52 I am able to reduce my daily demand level by 3.88 .80 planning ahead

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124 Table 4-3. Continued Rank Preventive Coping Resource Item SD Mean 53 I lead a well-rounded life 3 . 83 1 . 00 54 I stay organized 3.83 .87 55 I am able to prevent stress by being clear about 3.78 . 83 my priorities 56 By organizing and planning my day, I am 3.78 . 89 usually able to keep my daily demands 57 Because my life is balanced, problems in one 3 . 74 .94 area of my life don ' t unduly affect my overall happiness 58 I usually don ' t create stress for myself by putting 3 . 57 1.05 things off 59 I am able to ask for emotional support 3.51 . 93 60 I have enough money for my needs 3.24 1.26 Note : Item responses were 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree , 3 = neutral , 4 = agree , 5 = strongly agree.

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125 Table 4-4 Frequencies of Responses for Top Ten Preventive Coping Resources Rank Preventive Coping Resources Response Frequency Valid% 1 I can handle most things 1 0 0% 2 0 0% 3 1 .9% 4 43 37.1% 5 72 62.1% 2 I know who I am 1 0 0% 2 0 0% 3 2 1.7% 4 48 41.4% 5 66 56.9% 3 I can laugh at myself 1 0 0% 2 1 .9% 3 4 3.4% 4 43 37.1% 5 68 58.6% 4 I can handle most stressful 1 0 0% situations 2 0 0% 3 1 .9% 4 57 53.4% 5 58 45.7% 5 I can learn new tasks 1 0 0% 2 0 . 9% 3 2 3.4% 4 57 47.4% 5 57 48.3%

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126 Table 4-4. Continued Rank Preventive Coping Resources Response Frequency Valid% 6 I have strengths , which allow 1 0 0% me to overcome obstacles 2 0 0% 3 1 . 9% 4 62 53.4% 5 53 45 . 7% 7 I know how to think about 1 0 0% situations in a positive way 2 1 .9% 3 4 3.4% 4 55 47.4% 5 56 48 . 3% 8 I can adapt to change 1 0 0% 2 1 . 9% 3 4 3.4% 4 57 49 . 1% 5 54 46.6% 9 I usually succeed at whatever I 1 0 0% try 2 1 .9% 3 1 . 9% 4 64 55 . 2% 5 50 43 . 1% 10 If I fail in one situation , I know I 1 0 0% can still succeed in other 2 0 0% situations 3 4 3 . 4% 4 63 54 . 3% 5 49 42 . 2% Note : N = 116 .

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127 In this study, the hypothesized mediational model held if three conditions were met, as proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986) . First, the two sets of antecedent variables had to affect , or be significantly associated with the mediator in the first regression analysis. Secondly , variations in the mediator had to account for variations in the outcome variable. Thirdly , the two sets of antecedent variables had to be associated with the response variable . Subsequently, if these three conditions were demonstrated in the predicted directions , then when the mediator was added , the previous association between the antecedent and outcome variables would no longer be significant. Hypothesis 1 Principal characteristics (i.e. , gender , years of experience as a principal, and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables (district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment) are related to principals ' preventive coping resources . Analysis of Hypothesis 1 In testing the first condition of mediation in Hypothesis 1, the relationships among the principal characteristics, school demographic variables , and principals ' preventive coping resources were explored through a regression analysis. Within this analysis , the principal characteristics and school demographic variables represented the antecedent variables. Principal gender, district enrollment group, school level, and school enrollment were treated as categorical variables and were dummy coded for the analysis . In contrast , the number of years of experience and the number of hours worked per week we r e

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128 treated as quantitative, continuous variables. Principals ' preventive coping resources represented the mediating variable. For the first condition to be satisfied , the association between principal characteristics and school demographic var i ables and principals ' preventive coping resources had to be statistically significant. Initially, the mediator was regressed on the antecedent variables . A regression analysis was conducted , regressing principals ' preventive coping resources on all of the antecedent variables (i.e ., gender , total numbe r of years of experience as a principal , average number of hours worked per week , district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment) . Table 4-5 presents a summary of the descriptive statistics for the variables analyzed in Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 3 . In this regression analysis, the R2 of .115 was not statistically significant F(9 , 73) = 1 . 059 , p = .403 . This suggested that the overall model did not fit the population. Likewise , it indicated that condition one of the mediational model was not satisfied. The antecedent variables were jointly associated with approximately 11 . 5% of the total variance in the principals ' Preventive Resources Inventory score . Cohen (1988) stated that the magnitude of R2 can be examined in terms of effect size where R2 = . 0196 is considered to be small , R2 = .13 is considered to be medium , and R2 = . 26 is considered to be large . As shown in Table 4-6 , according to Cohen ' s criterion , the derived R2 of . 115 for the combination of antecedent variables yields an effect size classified as small to medium. Therefore , the combination of the two sets of antecedent variables did not predict principals' preventive coping resources , as measured by the

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129 Table 4-5 Descriptive Statistics of Antecedent, Mediating , and Outcome Variables for Hypotheses 1 and 3 Variable n Mean so Preventive Resources 83 246 . 133 2 1. 874 Inventory Total Score Gender 83 .494 . 503 Total Years of Experience 83 8.211 6 . 356 as a Principal Average Number of Hours 83 55 . 506 7 . 755 Worked per Wee k Small/Medium District 83 .494 . 503 Enrollment Large District Enrollment 83 .313 .467 Elementary Level 83 .446 . 500 Middle/Junior Level 83 .482 . 503 School Enrollment 83 .349 .480 (1-750) School Enrollment 83 .578 .497 (750-1 , 500) Administrative Stress Index 83 83.711 18 . 243 Preventive Resources Inventory . In view of these nonsignificant results , further tests of the individual antecedent variables were not conducted. It should be noted , however , that further analysis for this hypothesis resulted in a power estimate between . 50 and . 58 . The statistical power of a test is the probability that it will lead to the rejection of a null hypothesis when that hypothesis i s in fact

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130 wrong (Murphy & Myors, 1998) . These researchers have noted that power should be above . 50, with power of .80 or above generally considered to be adequate. Otherwise, when the power drops below .50, the study is more likely to fail than to succeed . Therefore , the results noted in this study may be considered inconclusive due to the low power. It is possible that the actual sample size, once cases with missing values were deleted, was too small to detect statistically significant differences . The estimated parameters for the model in Hypothesis 1 are depicted in Table 4-6. The resultant estimated structural model was as follows: Principals ' preventive coping resources= 221.771 + 3.840(gender) + .180(total years of experience as a principal) + -.01 ?(average hours worked per week) + 1 . 351 (small/medium district enrollment)+ 10.566(1arge district enrollment) + 15 . 041(elementary school level)+ 19 . 965(middle school level)+ 2 . 019(school enrollment of 1-750) + 1 . 629(school enrollment of 751-1 , 500) . Hypothesis 2 Principals ' preventive coping resources are related to their stress leve l s , with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and variety of preventive coping resources. Analysis of Hypothesis 2 In testing the second condition for mediation within Hypothesis 2 , the relationship between principals ' stress levels and preventive coping resources was explored next , regressing principals ' Administrative Stress Index Total Scores (a quantitative variable) on the Preventive Resources Inventory Scores

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131 (a quantitative variable) . For condition 2 to hold , _ mediator variations had to account for variations in the outcome variable. Table 4-7 depicts the descriptive statistics for the variables analyzed in Hypothesis 2. Table 4-6 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations for Hypothesis 1 Variables b SE B t p ,2 Intercept 221.771 24.815 8.937 .000 Gender 3 . 840 5.464 .088 . 703 .484 . 006 Total Years of .180 .410 . 052 .440 .661 .002 Experience as a Principal Average Number of . 017 . 340 -.006 -.051 .959 .000 Hours Worked Per Week Small/Medium District 1 . 351 7 . 192 . 031 .188 . 851 .000 Enrollment Large District Enrollment 10 . 566 7.400 .225 1.428 .158 . 025 Elementary Level 15 . 041 10.200 . 344 1 . 475 .145 .026 Middle/Junior Level 19.965 9.932 .459 2 . 010 .048 . 049 School Enrollment 2.019 11 . 575 . 044 . 174 .862 .000 (1-750) School Enrollment 1 . 629 10 . 324 . 037 .158 .875 . 000 (751-1 , 500) Note: N = 83 . alpha = . 05 .

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132 Table 4-7 Descriptive Statistics of Mediating and Outcome Variables for Hypothesis 2 Variable Total Administrative Stress Index Score Total Preventive Resources Inventory Score n 116 116 Mean SD 85.078 18.677 247.931 21 . 949 The association between principals' levels of stress and preventive coping resources was found to be statistically significant. The R2 of . 052 indicated that 5.2% of the total variance in the Administrative Stress Index Total Score was associated with principals ' preventive coping resources. The R2 was statistically significant F(1 , 114) = 6 . 292, p = .014. Again , the R2 represents a small to medium effect, though one considered to be practically significant (Cohen & Cohen , 1983) . The estimated model parameters for Hypothesis 2 are presented in Table 4-8. Table 4-8 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Squared Semi-Partial Correlations for Hypothesis 2 Variables b SE t p ,2 Intercept 133 . 329 19.310 6 . 905 . 000 Preventive Resources . 195 .078 . 229 -2 . 058 .014* . 052 Inventory Total Score Note: (N = 114) . alpha= . 05 . *p < .05.

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133 The resultant estimated structural model was as follows: Principals' stress levels = 133.329 + -.195(principals' preventive coping resources). Again, the association between principals' levels of stress and preventive coping resources was found to be statistically significant. The regression coefficient, b = -.195, for the Preventive Resources Inventory (or mediating variable) suggests that for each unit change in principals ' Preventive Resources Inventory Scores, one could expect a .195 unit decrease in the principals ' Administrative Stress Index Total Scores. Hypothesis 3 Principals' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between principal characteristics (i.e., gender, number of years of experience as a principal, number of hours worked per week), school demographic variables (i.e., district enrollment group , school level, and school enrollment), and principals' stress levels. Analysis of Hypothesis 3 When establishing mediation, Baron and Kenny (1986) recommended regressing the outcome variable on the antecedent variables, as well as the mediating variable. These researchers noted that separate coefficients for each equation should be estimated and tested. If condition three was satisfied, the mediator had to affect the outcome variable in the third equation. If the three proposed conditions held as predicted, the effect of the antecedent variables

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134 would be less in the latter equation tested in Hypothesis 3 than in the earlier equation in Hypothesis 2 . The third condition of the hypothesized mediational model was tested through a two-step regression analysis , as outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986). Within the initial step of this analysis , the outcome variable (i.e ., principals ' stress levels) was regressed on all of the antecedent variables (i.e. , gender , total number of years of experience as a principal , average number of hours worked per week , district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment) . The R2 of . 091 was not statistically significant F(9 , 73) = . 814 , p = . 605 . This suggested that the overall model did not fit the population . Likewise , the analysis indicated that condition three of the mediational model was not satisfied . The antecedent variables were jointly associated with approximately 9% of the total variance in the principals ' Adm i nistrative Stress Index score . The combination of antecedent variables sets did not appear to predict principals ' stress levels , as measured by the Administrative Stress Index . Further tests of the antecedent variables were not conducted . However , once again , when calculating the power for this analysis , the obtained level between .41 and . 50 was not considered to be adequate . The observed small to medium effect size may be inconclusive due to this insufficient level of power when making claims . The estimated parameters when testing the first step of the third condition for t he mediational model are depicted in Table 4-9. The resultant estimated structural model for Hypothesis 2 was as follows : Principals ' stress levels= 83.105 + . 006(gender) + . 041 (total years of

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135 experience as a principal) + . 106(average hours worked per week) + 5.519(small/medium district enrollment)+ 5 . 362(Iarge district enrollment)+ 5.602(elementary school level)+ -4.516(middle school level)+ . 596(school enrollment of 1-750) + 3.701 (school enrollment of 751-1,500). Table 4-9 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Sguared Semi-Partial Correlations for the First Step of Hypothesis 3 Variables b SE p t p ? Intercept 83 . 105 20 . 977 3.962 .000 Gender . 006 4.619 .000 -.001 . 999 .000 Total Years of . 041 .346 -.014 -.118 .906 . 000 Experience as a Principal Average Number of . 103 . 288 -.044 . 358 . 722 . 002 Hours Worked Per Week Small/Medium District 5 . 519 6 . 080 . 152 .908 . 367 .010 Enrollment Large District Enrollment 5.362 6 . 256 .137 . 857 .394 .009 Elementary Level 5.602 8.623 .154 .650 .518 .005 Middle/Junior Level -4 . 516 8.396 -.124 -.538 .592 . 004 School Enrollment -.596 9.785 -.016 -.061 .952 .000 (1-750) School Enrollment 3.701 8.728 .101 .424 . 673 .002 (751-1,500) Note: N = 83 . alpha= . 05.

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136 For the second step of the analysis of Hypothesis 3 , principals ' stress levels , as measured on the Administrative Stress Index , were regressed on both sets of the antecedent variables (i.e . , gender , total number of years of experience as a principal , average number of hours worked per week , district enrollment , school level, and school enrollment), in addition to the mediating variable, principals ' preventive coping resources. In the second step of Hypothesis 3, the R2 of .121 was not statistically significant F(10 , 72) = .988 p = .462 . This , again , suggested that the overall model did not fit for the population. Likewise , condition three of the med i ational model was not satisfied . The antecedent variables and mediational variable were jointly associated with only 12% of the total variance in the principals ' Administrative Stress Index score. Approximately 88% of the variance in principals ' stress levels was not associated with the combination of antecedent and mediating variables. The obtained R2 again represented a small to medium effect size according to Cohen ' s (1988) criteria . However , the estimated power between . 48 and .50 does not warrant sufficient power to make conclusive claims . Table 4-10 presents the estimated parameters for the second step of testing Hypothesis 3. The resultant estimated structural model was as follows : Principals ' stress levels= 116 . 840+ .578(gender) + . 01354(total years of experience as a principal)+ -. 106(average hours worked per week) + 5 . 724(small/medium district enrollment))+ 6 . 970(Iarge district enrollment)

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137 + 7.890(elementary school level)+ -1.479(middle school level)+ -.289(school enrollment of 1-750) + 3 . 948(school enrollment of 751-1 , 500) + . 152(Preventive Coping Resources). Table 4-10 Unstandardized Regression Coefficients, Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and Sguared Semi-Partial Correlations for the Second SteQ of HyQothesis 3 Variables b SE p t p ? Intercept 116 . 840 30 . 068 3 . 886 . 000 Gender . 578 4.591 .016 . 126 .900 . 000 Total Years of . 014 . 343 -.005 . 039 .969 . 000 Experience as a Principal Average Number of -.106 . 285 . 045 -.370 . 712 . 002 Hours Worked Per Week Small/Medium District .572 6 . 023 . 158 . 950 . 345 . 011 Enrollment Large District Enrollment 6 . 970 6.282 .178 1 . 109 . 271 . 015 Elementary Level 7 . 890 8.667 . 216 .910 .366 . 010 Middle/Junior Level -1.479 8 . 543 . 041 . 173 . 863 . 003 School Enrollment . 289 9 . 694 -.008 -.030 . 976 . 000 (1-750) School Enrollment 3 . 948 8 . 646 .108 .457 . 649 . 003 (751-1,500) Preventive Resources . 152 .098 . 182 -1.552 . 125 . 030 Inventory Note: N = 83. alpha = .05 .

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138 Qualitative Results Principals were given the opportunity to identify other stressors for public school principals in Florida that were not presented on the Administrative Stress Index. Specifically, principals were asked, "Identify other stressors for public school principals in Florida that were not presented on the Administrative Stress Index . " Fifty-seven percent (n = 66) of the 116 principal respondents provided a comment. Verbatim responses from the principals to this question are provided in Appendix T. Analysis of responses to the open-ended questions is limited in terms of validity and only holds for the sample of this study. Fifty percent (n = 33) of the principals' responses to the open-ended question about other sources of principal stress dealt with accountability, school grading practices, and the expectations of supervisors, legislators, and parents associated with the accountability measures. Twenty-one percent (n = 14) of the responses dealt with political issues, ranging from the influence of school board members, legislators, state education department, parents, and media misinformation . Fourteen percent (n = 9) of the principals' responses dealt with staff issues, including the recruitment and retention of qualified staff. Approximately 11 % (n = 7) of the responses dealt with either parental issues or inadequate resources. The former related to the issue of demands and/or lack of support from parents . In contrast, inadequate resources in terms of finances and time were also noted as a perceived stressor. Seven percent (n = 5) of the additional perceived stressors related to the influx of communications, information and mail that needs to be responded to as a result of technology and

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139 access to information . Finally , approximately 5% (n = 3) of the responses dealt with ensuring safe schools . Principals were also given the opportunity at the end of the Preventive Resources Inventory to provide additional comments regarding how one can prevent stress. Specifically , principals were asked , "Do you have additional comments regarding how you can prevent stress?" Thirty-three percent (n = 38) of the 116 principals provided a comment. The principals ' verbatim responses are listed in Appendix U . Again , analysis of responses to the open-ended questions is limited in terms of validity and only holds for the sample of this study. Of the 38 principals providing a response to the aforementioned open ended question , 26% (n = 10) indicated the value of a strong belief system for coping with stress . Similarly , 24% of the responses (n = 9) related to the need to maintain a balance between work , family and other obligations in order to reduce stress levels. Twenty-one percent (n = 8) of the principals recognized the importance of exercise for stress reduction ; however , several indicated that additional time was needed in order to build this into the schedule . Eighteen percent (n = 7) of the responses related to the value of family , friends , staff , and principal support for lowering stress levels . Approximately 11 % (n = 4) of the responses related to either prioritizing values or the importance of hobbies and vacation time for lowering stress levels. Prioritizing values included keeping things in perspective , considering the order of importance of activities , and adopting a mental model of what would be wanted for principals ' own children.

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140 Lastly, 8% (n = 3) of the responses included the importance of building in reflection time within one ' s schedule . Summary of Results The purpose of the analyses was to examine the relationships among principal characteristics, school demographic variables , and the preventive coping resources of principals in relation to their level of stress. Specifically , an effort was made to investigate the extent to which preventive coping resources may account for differences in principals ' stress levels. The analyses were guided by a mediational model proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986) . Within this model , a given variable was said to function as a mediator to the extent that i t accounted for the relation between the antecedent variables and the outcome variable . In detail , a variable functions as a mediator when the following conditions occur : (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive relationships or associations with the presumed mediator, (b) variations in the mediator account for variations in the outcome variable , (c) the antecedent variables are associated with the outcome variable . If these conditions are demonstrated in the predicted direction , then when the mediator is added , any previous association between the antecedent and outcome variables is no longer significant. Mediation is considered to be strongest when there is no longer a relationship between the antecedent and outcome variables. Within the analyses , preventive coping resources were hypothesized t o function as a mediator through which the principal characteristics and the school demographic variables (the antecedent variables) were able to influence

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141 principals' stress levels (the outcome variable). Specifically , Hypotheses 1 addressed step 1 of Baron and Kenny ' s model , regressing the mediating variable on the antecedent variables . Hypothesis 2 addressed the second step of the model , regressing the outcome variable on the mediating variable . Finally , Hypothesis 3 addressed step 3 of the model, regressing the outcome variable on both the antecedent and mediating variables . Of particular significance were the results when testing the relationship between principals ' preventive coping resources and their stress levels . A significant association was found between principals ' preventive coping resources and levels of stress . The obtained R2 of . 052 indicated that 5 . 2% of the total variance in the Administrative Stress Index Total Score was associated with principals ' preventive coping resources . This association may be considered t o be of practical significance , with the effect size regarded as small to medium . The regression coefficient b = . 195 for the Preventive Resources Inventory suggested that for each unit change in principals ' Preventive Resources Inventory Scores , one could expect a . 195 unit decrease in the principals ' Administrative Stress Index Total Scores . Lastly , the three hypotheses were structured to test the three conditions of Baron and Kenny ' s mediational model. The findings indicated that preventive coping resources do not qualify as a mediating variable, because all three of the conditions for mediation were not satisfied . The antecedent variables and mediational variable were jointly associated with only 12 . 1 % of the total variance in the principals ' Administrative Stress Index score . Approximately 88% of the

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142 variance in principals ' stress levels was not associated with the combination of antecedent and mediating variables.

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY , DISCUSSION , CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS I ntroduction The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and preventive coping resources in relation to principals ' levels of stress. Specifically , the extent to which preventive coping resources account for differences in principals ' stress levels was investigated. For this study, preventive coping resources were believed to function as a means (the mediator) through which the principal characteristics and the school demographic variables (two sets of anteceden t variables) , were able to influence principals ' stress levels (the outcome variable). Principal characteristics included gender , number of years of experience as a principal , and the number of hours worked per week . School demographic variables included the district enrollment group (small/medium , large , and very large) ; school level (elementary , middle , high) ; and school enrollment ( 1 -750 , 751-1 , 500 , 1 , 500 or more students). The study was guided by the mediational model proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986). This model aided in the development of the two research questions and three hypotheses addressed in the study . The subsequent analyses tested the relationships among the principal characteristics , school demographic variables , preventive coping resources , and principals ' stress levels . Likewise , Baron and Kenny ' s model laid out the steps necessary to test 143

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144 the three conditions of mediation. A series of regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationships among the antecedent, mediating, and outcome variables . Specifically, the following questions and hypotheses were addressed in the study. Question 1 What are the current perceived stressors of public school principals in Florida? Question 2 What are the current preventive coping resources of public school principals in Florida? Hypothesis 1 Principal characteristics (i.e., gender, years of experience as a principal, and number of hours worked per week) and school demographic variables (district enrollment, school level, and school enrollment) are related to principals' preventive coping resources. Hypothesis 2 Principals' preventive coping resources are related to their stress levels, with lower stress levels associated with the utilization of a greater number and variety of preventive coping resources. Hypothesis 3 Principals ' preventive coping resources mediate the relationship between principal characteristics (i.e., gender, number of years of experience as a principal, number of hours worked per week), school demographic variables

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145 (i.e . , district enrollment group , school level , and school enrollment} , and principals ' stress levels . . A sample of 216 public school principals was drawn from the population of public school principals in Florida using a stratified design . Stratification was based on school level (i.e ., elementary , middle , and high school) as well as district enrollment group (i.e ., small , medium/small , medium , large , and very large) . Due to an insufficient number of principals at each school level in the small and medium/small districts , these two categories were combined . Eigh t een principals from each of the twelve categories were drawn for the sample . Five surveys were undeliverable. Completed surveys from 116 principal respondents yielded a 55% response rate . The Administrative Stress Index (ASI) was used to operationalize principals ' perceived stressors. A pilot study of the reliability of the ASI was conducted prior to the actual research study , yielding a Cronbach ' s alpha of .945 . For this study , principals ' preventive coping resources were assessed through the Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI). A demographic addendum included as the final section of the survey packet provided the data related to the pr i ncipal characteristics and school demographics . Principal characteristic data were reported according to (a) gender , (b) racial/ethnic category , (c) age at the time of the survey , (d) tota l number of years in the education profession , (e) total number of years of experience as a principal , (f) age when first appointed to a principalship , (g) level of highest degree completed , (h) and the average number of hours worked per week. School demographic data were reported according to

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146 (a) the demographic description of the district according to one of three categories , (b) district enrollment group/PK-12 membership according to one of three categories , (c) school level according to one of three categories , (d) student enrollment according to one of three categories, (e) majority racial/ethnic category of the student population according to one of five categories , and (f) the majority Socio-Economic Status of the student population according to one of three categories . This chapter continues with a summary and discussion of the results. Following this , the conclusions and implications for public school principals are addressed. Finally , recommendations for further study are delineated. Summary and Discussion of Results The links between high levels of stress and illness, difficulties with interpersonal relationships , wasted energy , difficulties with clear thinking , and lowered work performance have been demonstrated in the literature on stress (Greenberg , 1993 ; lvancevich & Matteson , 1980) . As a consequence of stress , organizations experience lost opportunities due to employees ' lowered creativity , and lowered job satisfaction and involvement , as well as higher rates of absenteeism and insurance costs (Golembiewski , 1996; Greenberg , 1993 ; lvancevich & Matteson , 1980) . Increased responsibilities , startling changes in roles , heightened accountability for results , an expanding array of alternatives to traditional pub l ic school education , and dwindling resources have brought about increased pressures for principals (Barth , 1990 ; Doud & Keller, 1998 ; Gmelch , 1994) .

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147 Simply stated, "the work life of a principal is depleting" (Barth, 1990, p. 66). In fact, Barth noted that stress has been specified as the second most frequently cited reason for principals desiring to leave the position . Of frightening significance is the affirmation that the pressures presented to today's principals do not show signs of lessening in severity (Deal & Peterson, 1994). Relative to the aforementioned, coping resources have been described as conditions or characteristics that (a) decrease the chance that demands will be perceived as stressors as well as (b) increase the effectiveness of coping behaviors (Matheny, Aycock, Pugh, Curlette, & Silva Cannella, 1986). Researchers have suggested that preventive coping resources may allow an individual to control or modify the nature of daily stressors or demands encountered through life changes, role requirements, daily hassles , or self imposed obligations. Likewise, preventive coping resources may also modify the individual's perceptions about these stressors or demands once they have been encountered, as well as the individual's assessment of the ability to handle the demands (McCarthy, Lambert, & Brack, 1997). Studies have addressed to a limited degree what the sources of stress are for principals and to a lesser degree what their coping strategies are once stress is perceived or experienced. However, the role of prevention in coping has been neglected. As the study of the construct of preventive coping resources has only begun, the need for additional research has been warranted to determine this construct's potential as a mediating variable in relation to principals' stress levels. This study specifically set out to explore the associations between principal

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148 characteristics, school demographic variables, preventive coping resources, and principals' stress levels. In addition, the mediational role of preventive coping resources was tested, examining the extent to which preventive coping resources account for differences in principals' stress levels. Descriptive Data Results First, when analyzing the results of the principals' responses on the Administrative Stress Index and the Preventive Resources Inventory, it should be noted that the initial assumptions recognized within the study included the limitations of self-report measures. It was assumed that the participating principals had common understandings of the terminology on the instruments used to measure the relevant constructs. In addition, it was assumed that the self-report responses were accurate reflections of principals' actual perceptions and behaviors rather than socially desirable responses . Principals ' sources of stress. Keeping the aforementioned in mind, the primary sources of stress reported by this sample of public school principals in Florida, as measured by their self-reported perceived stressors on the Administrative Stress Index, are strikingly similar to those identified in earlier studies by Gmelch and Swent (1984). Although the rankings of the top ten stressors might be slightly different , the sources of stress are almost identical. The reported stressors are also similar to those areas of concern identified by Brimm (1981), as well as Doud and Keller (1998) in their earlier research with principals. These stressors or sources of concern relate primarily to task-based, day-to-day management activities of principals.

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149 Fragmentation of time had previously been cited as the most prevalent management issue by 72% of the K-8 principals in Doud and Keller ' s study (1998) . Likewise , Brimm's research (1983) had also identified the day-to-day administrative tasks and responsibilities that are normally associated with the principalship as the tasks perceived to be most stressful for principals. Consistent with these earlier findings was the fact that 60% of the respondents in the current study noted stressors related to task-based activities or the performance of one ' s day-to-day administrative tasks. Forty-one percent of the principals reported being significantly bothered by the reports and paperwork that need to be completed on time . In their study of school administrators in Ohio , Frick and Fraas (1990) also identified those activities associated with administrative constraints (i.e., relating to time , meetings , workload, and compliance with federal, state, and organizational rules and regulations) to be the most stressful factors to the respondents . Attendance at meetings , the resolution of parent/school conflicts , compliance with state and federal rules and procedures, interruptions by telephone calls , making decisions that impact others, as well as the feelings associated with having to participate in normal working activities at the expense of one ' s personal time were all noted to be within the top ten sources of stress by the principal respondents in the current study . Relative to the latter source of stress, approximately 33% of the principal respondents in this sample indicated a higher degree of stress associated with having to participate in activities outside of the normal work day. This brings to

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150 mind significant findings reported by Doud and Keller (1998) , in which 89% of the principals surveyed reported working longer than the average 40 hour work week , with 45 hours representing the mean for the principals ' work week. Of significance , Doud and Keller noted that the typical K 8 principal worked 54 hours per week in 1998 . This represented an increase from the 51 hours per week reported in Doud ' s (1989) earlier study of principals . The mean numbe r of hours worked per week reported by principals in the current study was found to be 57 . 25 . Approximately 62% of the principal respondents in this study i ndicated that an average work week is greater than 54 hours . Slightly less than 19% of the sample reported an average work week of 64 or more hours . This finding is consistent with the growing body of research indicating that principals are averaging more work hours per week each year. Continuing to be a source of concern for principals are the efforts needed to gain public approval and/or financial support for school programs. Forty-four percent of the participating principals in the current study noted stress associated with the efforts needed to gain support for schools. In the current study , this source of stress was ranked third . Previously , the assurance of the necessary financial resources had also been identified as a major concern by approximately 56% of the principals surveyed in Doud and Keller ' s (1998) national study. Major concerns related to student assessment and performance also continue to be noted in the present study. Although not specifically measured on the Administrative Stress Index , the responses of participating principals to the open ended question regarding other sources of stress , indicated the pressures

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151 that accountability , student performance , and school grading practices have placed on principals in Florida . Current results again converge with previous research by Doud and Keller (1998) , whereby student assessment/performance and students not performing up to their potential were identified as major sources of concern by over one-half of the principals in their study . Such is the pressure with regard to this latter area that Rose and Gallup (2002) again report that 56% of the participants in a survey of the public ' s attitudes toward the public schools favored not renewing the contract of the principal if the public school in their community did not show progress toward meeting state-approved standards for student learning . Finally , among the top ten stressors reported for the current study was the tendency for the principals to place high expectations on themselves . This , once again , is consistent with the research conducted by Brimm (1983) in which principals at all levels , and at the elementary level in particular , expressed a significant relationship between job stress and the high expectations established for themselves. Findings from the current study add to those of a later study by Frick and Fraas (1990) , in which female principals in elementary school settings tended to experience more stress when compared to males due to the imposition of excessively high self expectations. Although group comparisons between gender and the imposition of high expectations were not made in the current study , the link between personal expectations and high stress again was noted for principals .

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152 Preventive coping resources . A primary goal of this study was to provide data to examine the mediational role of principals' preventive coping resources. The role of coping resources , particularly preventive in nature , is a relatively contemporary area of research . Matheny et al. (1986) made the point that investigations addressing coping resources have been significantly less frequent than those studying coping behaviors. These researchers added that it is perhaps more difficult to " engineer personal conditions and attributes than to teach behaviors " (p . 527) . The results from the descriptive data in the current study on principals' preventive coping resources, then , are a start in providing new information to the body of research relative to coping resources , as well as to educational leadership. However , when interpreting the responses and generalizing the results of this study , the earlier caution of the limitations of self report measures should be kept in mind. Specifically, it was assumed in this research project that participants ' responses reflected actual perceptions and behaviors, rather than socially desirable responses. Likewise , it should be noted that the item means for the 60 items on the Preventive Resources Inventory ranged from 3 . 24 to 4 . 61, with a range of 1 to 5 for item responses. This limited variation in the mean response ranges may suggest that (a) either this sample of principals is strongly and consistently in agreement with the statements about the personal habits relative to the prevention of stress, or possibly, (b) that the response categories do not discriminate sufficiently to detect more variation in the participants ' identification of preventive coping resources.

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153 On the Preventive Resources Inventory , seven of the top ten reported preventive coping resources were related to principals ' perceived control or one ' s belief in their abil i ty to handle things within their roles . Along with this , the general attributes of balance and acceptance across many areas of life were described by principals in terms of self-acceptance and its importance for deal i ng with stress . Also noted within the principals ' responses were the important roles of humor and a strong belief system as preventive coping resources to keep difficulties from becoming stressful. In her dissertation study of 50 elementary principals , Mills (1981) had also found the daily use of humor as a stress alleviant to be important, even though it was not reported to be the most effective stress reducing technique . Although the sample for the current study was significantly smaller than Allison ' s (1997) study of principals in British Columbia , Canada (N = 1 , 455) , the results of the current study also converge with Allison ' s findings . Allison ident i fied the importance of maintaining a sense of humor , approaching problems optimistically and objectively , and sustaining a realistic perspective and positive attitude , as well as carrying out a good physical health program were previously identified within the top ten coping strategies or factors on the Coping Preference Scale . The importance of exercise for the reduction of stress may have been downplayed by current principals , in comparison to principals a number of years ago . Swent (1983) had pointed out in his earlier research that physiological activity was the most frequently used means of stress management , with

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154 approximately two out of three administrators identifying this strategy . Within the current investigation , 8 of the 116 principal respondents indicated on their open ended responses the importance of exercise for stress reduction , with some participants qualifying the importance by stating the need to build exercise into their respective schedules . Perhaps this perceived change in the urgency or importance of exercise in the reduction of stress reflects the growing number of work hours associated with the profession. Finally , the setting of priorities , as well as the maintenance of a balance between work , family , and other obligations was stated as a means of reducing stress levels by the principal participants . This establishment of priorities relates to the earlier work by Bailey , Fillos , and Kelly (1987) pointing out that exemplary principals develop strong stress coping strategies through management skills , with an emphasis on goal setting , planning , and the prioritization of outcomes. Quantitative Data Results Baron and Kenny (1986) explained that a variable functions as a mediator when the following conditions are satisfied: (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive relationships or associations with the presumed med i ator , (b) variations in the mediator account for variations in the outcome variable , and (c) the antecedent variables are associated with the outcome variable. Finally , Baron and Kenny proposed that when adding the mediator into the analysis , any previous association between the antecedent and outcome variables was no longer significant. Analyses for this study were guided by Baron and Kenny ' s three-step mediational model. First , the associations between the antecedent

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155 variables (i.e ., gender , number of years of experience as a principal , number of hours worked per week , district enrollment group , school level , and school enrollment) and the presumed mediator (principals ' preventive coping resources) were explored by regressing the mediating variable on the antecedent variables. Specifically , the associations between principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and principals ' preventive coping resources were explored. In the second step , the nature of the relationship between the outcome variable and the mediating variable was explored , regressing the outcome variable on the mediating. Specifically , the relationship between principals ' st r ess levels and preventive coping resources was examined . Finally , the association between the outcome variable and the antecedent variables was tested again , when adding the mediator. In this final step the outcome variable was regressed on both the antecedent and mediating variables. Specifically , the relationships among the principal characteristics , school demographic variables , preventive coping resources , and principal stress levels were tested . All hypotheses were tested at the . 05 level of significance . Hypothesis 1. First , it was surmised in Hypothesis 1 that selected principal characteristics and school demographic variables would be related t o pr i ncipals ' preventive coping resources. Step one of the analysis involved regressing the mediating variable (preventive coping resources) on the antecedent variables (gender , total years of experience as a principal , average number of hours worked per week , district enrollment group , school level, and school enrollment). No significant relationships were found between principals ' preventive coping

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156 resources and a combination of principal characteristics and school demographic variables. In testing the mediational model , an association had to be demonstrated between the mediating variable and the outcome variables. The resultant association between principals ' preventive coping resources and the two sets of antecedent variables was considered to be nonsignificant , with a small to medium effect. However , further analysis of the power for this particular analysis was considered to be below the recommended level for making conclusive claims . Therefore , condition one of the mediational model was no t met in this study ; however , it is possible that a larger sample might have been able to detect a true effect. Additional follow-up analyses were conducted by regressing principals ' Preventive Resources total scores on each of the antecedent variables ( i.e ., gender, years of experience as a principal, average number of hours worked per week , district enrollment group , school level , and school enrollment ). Again , for this sample , no significant relationships were established when separating out the sets of antecedent variables , with p > .05. However , the findings from testing Hypothesis 1 represent new information to the body of research relative to preventive coping resources . No additional studies were found in the literature relative to the selected antecedent variables , preventive coping resources , and the population selected for study . Hypothesis 2 . Matheny et al. (1986) pointed out that preventive coping is aimed at prevent i ng potential stressors, in addition to , the building of resources for resisting these stressors . In addition to adjusting demand levels to match the

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157 availability of one ' s resources , the researchers emphasized the importance of increasing one ' s resources . Hypothesis 2 stated the expectation that a positive relationship exists between principals ' preventive coping resources and principals ' stress levels . The corresponding regression analysis confirmed a significant relationship between these two variables. Specifically , as principa l s ' scores on the Preventive Resources Inventory increased (denoting more coping resources), their score on the Adm i nistrative Stress Index decreased slightly (indicating a lowering in the stress l evel). Referencing Cohen ' s criterion for effect sizes (1988) , a small to medium effect was noted , which was considered to be of practical significance . The aforementioned results obtained when testing Hypothesis 2 supported the work of Matheny ' s belief an individual may positively affect the appraisal of perceived demands and subsequent ability to handle these possible sources of stress by increasing one ' s coping resources . The current results also converged with Allison ' s conclusions (1997 ) that found principals who set realistic goals , approach problems optimistically and objectively , and who engage in activities that promote regular exercise tended to have lower stress levels . Additionally , Allison concluded that principals with higher stress scores had a more limited repertoire of coping techniques , as well as used the coping techniques to a lesser degree than principals with lower stress levels . Hypothesis 3 . It was proposed in this last hypothesis that principal characteristics and school demographic variables were associated with principals ' stress levels. Again , earlier findings by Frick and Fraas (1990) as well

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158 as Lam (1988) had suggested some relationships among various principal characteristics , demographic variables , and stressors . The associations between the antecedent and outcome variables in this study were assessed through a regression analysis . The results suggested that the optimal combination of the two sets of antecedent variables (i.e ., principal characteristics and school demographic variables) was not significantly associated with principals ' stress levels. Principal characteristics included principal gender , number of years of experience as a principal , and the average number of hours worked per week . The second set of antecedent variables , school demographic variables , included district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment. However , again , the resultant power level for this analysis was not considered to be adequate and may render the results inconclusive . A small to medium effect size was noted according to Cohen ' s criterion . However , it is possible that a larger sample size would have detected different effec t s . Relative to Hypothesis 3 , previous researchers typically have investigated stress in educational leaders by comparing administrators in various roles and levels (i.e ., superintendents , assistant superintendents , principals , assistant principals , elementary , middle , and high). In particular , a study by Frick and Fraas (1990) involving 80 school and district administrators from Richland County , Ohio , incorporated several of the same variables investigated in the current study . The sample in Frick and Fraas ' s study included superintendents , assistant superintendents, central office staff , junior and senior high school principals and assistant principals , as well as elementary principals and assistant

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159 principals . Of the 80 administrators, 45 were principals at the elementary, middle, and senior high school levels. Administrator stressors were also operationalized and measured by the Administrative Stress Index. Specifically, when making comparisons between principals at different school levels , Frick and Fraas had noted that elementary , middle, and high school principals were similar in reporting high stress levels relative to interpersonal relations issues when compared to administrative counterparts that are at district based sites, rather than school based sites. In this study by Frick and Fraas (1990), it was also noted that junior and senior high school principals with greater administrative experience were reported to experience less stress when resolving differences among staff, students, and parents than counterparts with less administrative experience . However , the number of years of experience did not alleviate stress relative to role expectations caused by differences in the expectations of self and the various constituents served. Although a significant relationship between the number of hours worked per week and stress was not found in the current study, the work of Frick and Fraas (1990) had shown a statistically significant relationship at the . 05 level between the number of hours elementary principals work and the stress associated with intrapersonal conflicts and role expectations. Specifically, Frick and Fraas noted that there was an inverse relationship between the number of hours worked and the stress derived from role expectations . That is , as the number of hours worked per week increased in principals' attempts to compensate for or avoid supervisory demands, there was a decrease in the

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160 stress derived from meeting the demands of others. The researchers cautioned about the possibility of occupational burnout if this coping style cont i nued. Interestingly , elementary principals reporting greater numbers of hours worked per week also perceived higher levels of stress from conflicts between performance and one ' s internal beliefs and expectations, as well as the difference between self expectations and the expectations of the various constituents served. Frick and Fraas concluded that the variations in stress among the various role groups indicated that the needs and priorities are different , suggesting the justification for varied and individualized professional development programs for the various administrative positions and levels . Relative to the relationship between stress and the number of years o f experience as a principal , the current study did not find a significant relationship. However , Lam (1988) had reported a negative relationship between principals ' length of administration and stress in his study of 256 principals in Canada . Specifically , more experienced administrators were reported to become more stressed and to have more difficulties adapting to authority structure changes in schools. Gender differences were unrelated to various types or sources of stress . Similarly , Lam noted that the size and location of the school were moderately related to levels of stress . Administrators in large schools appeared to experience a slightly higher level of stress due to the need to monitor students ' behavior. Lam concluded that school administrators ' job-related stress is a highly complex phenomenon that requires investigation through a systematic approach utilizing a comprehensive model. Lam proposed that this comprehensive model

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161 would necessitate the involvement of extra-organizational, intra-organizational, demographic, contextual, and intrapersonal variables when studying school administrators' stressors. Testing the final condition of Baron and Kenny's mediational model involved regressing principals' stress levels on all of the antecedent variables, as well as the mediating variable. Condition three of the mediational model was not satisfied. The association between all of the antecedent variables and the mediating variable was not demonstrated to a level of statistical significance. That is, the proportion of total variance associated with the optimal combination of the antecedent and mediating variables was not found to be significant. Thus, the model did not hold for the population of principals. Although a small to medium effect size was noted, according to Cohen's criteria (1988), concerns are noted with the resultant power derived in this analysis. Again, insufficient power may have resulted in the inability to detect true effects. Therefore, the results are considered to be inconclusive . Specific follow-up analyses of the relationships between each antecedent variable and the outcome variable were conducted. Again, no significant relationships were detected, with p > .05 for each analysis. In summary, only one statistically significant relationship was established when testing the associations between the antecedent, mediating, and outcome variables. There was a significant relationship, with a small to medium effect , demonstrated between principals ' stress levels and preventive coping resources. However, power analyses for the various nonsignificant results showed levels to be considered less than adequate for detecting true effects. Therefore, the

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162 results derived from this sample of principals, once the cases with missing values were deleted , may be inconclusive . It is possible that a larger sample may have yielded very different results. Additional follow-up analyses . In view of the fact that so few studies a r e available on the role of preventive coping resources , the use of standard instruments such as the PRI across different studies would facilitate the comparison of results from the investigations. Likewise , it would be advantageous to employ a number of different methods of operationaliz i ng the two constructs being measured in order to verify the accuracy of the current findings. Specifically , stressors may affect individuals physically , physiologically , and/or behaviorally. Therefore , the use of one self-report instrument in this study may limit the generalizability of the results . In addition , the literature on coping behaviors , coping strategies , and coping resources sometimes challenge one ' s understanding of the various distinctions between these specific constructs . Therefore , further investigations with multiple measures might aid readers ' understandings when trying to distinguish between the various means of coping . Nevertheless , it was perceived that additional information regarding the reliability of the Administrative Stress Index , and the Preventive Resources Inventory , would add to the strength of the methodology design , as well as contribute to the body of research on stress and coping . Therefore , add i tiona l analyses of the reliability of the instruments used to measure the constructs of principal stress and preventive coping resources were carried out.

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163 Reliability , as measured by Cronbach alphas , was calculated for the total score in the pilot study of the Administrative Stress Index , with alpha= .9415 . This indicated an acceptable level of reliability for use of the instrument in the study . Likewise , for the sample of principals in the actual study (N = 116), the reliability coefficients were adequate for three of the scales , as well as the total scale: Role-Based Stress (alpha= .827) , Conflict Mediating Stress (alpha= .819) , Task-Based Stress (alpha= . 791 ), and total scale (alpha= . 921 ). The fourth scale , Boundary Spanning Stress , had the lowest coefficient (alpha= .631) , which is generally considered to be below the accepted level. The 10 additional items that did not load on any of the factors derived an alpha of .777. The current pilot and research studies involving the Administrative Stress Index added to the existing exploratory research conducted initially by Koch et al. ( 1982) , as well as Gmelch and Swent ( 1984). In addition to the quantitative information derived from the use of the Administrative Stress Index , responses from principals to an open ended question showed the need for the inclusion of additional possible sources of stress on the instrument. Specifically , principals were probed for additional sources of stress for public school principals in Florida. Unique to principals in Florida at the present time , was the fact that of the 57% of the principals providing a response to this open ended question , one-half of them (n = 33) cited the accountability pressures and expectations of supervisors , legislators , and parents associated with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT ), as well as school grading practices, as predominant sources of stress . Principal

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164 responses also noted stressors associated with political issues (i.e ., the influence of school board members , legislators , state education department , parents , and media misinformation) . Finally , stressors relevant to the recruitment and retention of qualified staff were noted by approximately 14% of the respondents on this question. The increased speed and volume of communication and mail capabilities , along with the assurance of safe campuses , were also noted as sources of stress within this particular sample of public school principals . These concerns , again , were not identified on the initial questionnaire developed by Gmelch and Swent , yet warrant further merit for possible inclusion if this instrument is used for future research. The Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI) was not the only available measure of coping resources. However , it was chosen because it was developed and validated as a measure of coping resources useful primarily for the prevention of stress . In reporting the results of the principal components with varimax rotation analysis of the PRI , McCarthy et al. (2001) had identified five fundamental factors , including (a) Perceived Control , (b) Maintaining Perspective , (c) Social Resourcefulness , (d) Humor, and (e) Organization . Additional analyses for this study provided additional data to support the authors ' initial research on the reliability of the instrument. Table 5-1 shows a comparison of the reliabilities cited by McCarthy et al. , as well as those derived from this study with 1 1 6 principal participants. It should be noted , however , that in the development of the Preventive Resources Inventory , an additional 10 items formed a cross over scale for the

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165 PRI , labeled Self-Acceptance . McCarthy et al. (2001) indicated that these 10 items on this cross over scale were correlated moderately with all of the factors , though not highly with any one factor. This latter scale , Self-Acceptance , demonstrated the lowest reliability coefficient in the work of McCarthy et al. , as well as in the current study (as noted in Table 5-1). As the field of research relevant to preventive coping resources expands , additional instruments may be utilized to enhance the current research findings . Keeping this last caution in mind , the additional analyses from this study suggest that the Preventive Resources Inventory shows promise as a reliable instrument for future research purposes. Table 5-1 Comparison of Reported Reliability Coefficients for the Preventive Resources Inventory PRI Scale Perceived Control Maintaining Perspective Social Resourcefulness Organization Humor Self-Acceptance Total Scale Score = Preventive Resources McCarthy et al. (2001) N = 501 . 909 .870 . 870 . 743 . 810 . 700 . 940 Current Study N = 116 . 832 .884 . 875 . 764 .844 .696 .951

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166 In light of the high reliabilities demonstrated on the Preventive Resources Inventory , as well as the relationship established between principals ' stressors and preventive coping resources in Hypothesis 2 , additional analyses were conducted relative to the factors on the Administrative Stress Index and the Preventive Resources Inventory . Notably , when analyzing the relationships between principals ' stress levels on the Administrative Stress Index and the separate factors on the Preventive Resources Inventory , significant relationships were demonstrated between the st r ess levels and the Perceived Control (p = .028) , Social Resourcefulness (p = .042), and Organization (p = .009) factors . With these analyses , however, the number of available cases (N = 1 15) was higher than i n the analyses of t he hypotheses . Finally , additional analyses were carried out with the Administrative Stress Index factors with the highest reliabilities (i.e ., Task-Based Stress , Role-Based Stress , and Conflict Mediating Stress). Of particular significance was the association between principals ' Task Based Stress and their preventive coping resources (p = . 041 ) . Again , in examining this association , there was a higher number of cases with complete data for the analysis (N = 115) . Conclusions Current principals are expec t ed to accomplish and carry out district goals , policies , and directives , as well as to be instructional leaders within the schools. At the same time , administrators are being barraged with administrative activ i ties , numerous interruptions , an enormous number of daily interpersonal contacts , and conflict mediations (Lyons , 1990). Coinciding with these demands , the

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167 importance of strong leadership in schools has consistently been reported in research on effective and successful schools (DuFour & Eaker, 1992; National Center for Education Statistics, 2000). Relevant to strong leadership, school leaders ' persistence, willingness to take risks, their commitment, continued learning and self-knowledge are all identified as being essential for successful organizations . In view of the negative effects of stress placed on employees, managers and leaders of organizations are becoming more aware of the need to promote a healthy fit between the individuals in the organization and the work environment. For these reasons, the results of this study contributed to the field of educational leadership research and specifically to the prior research on principals conducted by Doud (1989), as well as Doud and Keller (1998). In addition, the results expanded the research specific to principals and stress conducted earlier by Allison (1997), Brimm (1983), Gmelch and Chan (1995), Gmelch and Swent (1984), Koch, Tung, Gmelch, and Swent (1982), Leithwood, Cousins, and Smith (1990), Lyons (1990), Saffer (1984), Whan and Thomas (1996), as well as Whitaker (1995) . Finally, it extends the growing body of research relative to preventive coping resources as it relates to stress, and most importantly, as it relates to public school principals. Finally, contributions from this research study provide additional direction for the earlier works of Folkman, Schaefer, and Lazarus (1979), Hobfoll (1989), Holmes and Werbel (1992), Matheny, Aycock, and McCarthy (1993), McCarthy, Lambert, and Brack (1997), as well as McGrath (1970b) .

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168 For this study , principals ' perceived stressors were measured by the Administrative Stress Index . The top ten sources of stress for principals in this study were reported in Chapter 4 . Although ranked differently , nine of the 10 stressors in this study were the same as those reported by Gmelch and Swent in their study of principal stressors in 1984 . Likewise , four of the five top stressors in the current study were the same as those identified by Gmelch and Swent's earlier work. The primary difference between the two research studies was in the top stressor. Previously identified were principals ' challenges with complying with state , federal , and organizational rules and procedures. Within the current study , principals ' identified as their top source of stress the feelings of having too heavy a workload ; one t hat cannot possibly be finished during the normal work day . Approximately 46% of the respondents identified this latter source of stress as being a concern . In this study , the principal characteristics and school demographic variables selected and tested were not found to be significantly related to either the preventive coping resources of principals or their self-reported stress levels . Likewise, the mediational role of preventive coping resources was not established . The three conditions prescribed by Baron and Kenny were not satisfied . That is , principal gender , number of years of experience , the number of hours worked per week , district enrollment , school level , and school enrollment were not shown to affect or to be significantly related to the preventive coping resources employed and utilized by principals. However, the expected relationship between principals ' preventive coping resources (the media t or) and

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169 principals' stress levels (the outcome variable) was noted as predicted . In testing the third condition of mediation : principal gender, number of years of experience, the number of hours worked per week, district enrollment, school level, and school enrollment were not shown to affect principals' stress levels. A significant relationship between these antecedent variables and principals' stress was not demonstrated . Likewise, when regressing principals' stress levels on the antecedent variables, as well as the mediator; the desired association was not established as predicted in the model. When drawing conclusions regarding the results of a study, it is imperative not only to examine the resultant levels of significance, but also to consider the issues relative to statistical power. Cook and Campbell (1979) describe validity as the approximate likelihood of the claims proposed. These researchers strongly recommend the analysis of power when determining the magnitude of the variances and reporting results. Power is the statistical term for describing the researcher ' s ability to reject the null hypothesis when it is false . Power ranges from 0 to 1. Higher values of power result in the likelihood of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is false. The determination of power depends on how large the true difference is , the sample size, and the variance of the difference , as well as the significance level set for rejecting the null hypothesis (Norusis , 2002) . Power analyses have a different function once a study has been completed. Specifically, Cook and Campbell relate that the known variances and sample sizes are used to calculate the magnitude of effects that could have "reasonably" been detected in the study. When only considering the probability level

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170 (alpha= .05), a researcher may draw incorrect conclusions when the probability level is below the specified level or when above the specified level. Therefore, Cook and Campbell reiterate the importance of magnitude estimates. For example, even very small effects may be statistically significant with a large enough sample size. Therefore, the researchers use the term, statistical conclusion validity, to infer about whether it is reasonable to presume covariation between the variables given a specified alpha level and the obtained variances. In regression analyses , SPSS excludes all cases that have missing values for any of the variables by default. Otherwise, the derived correlation coefficients would be based on entirely different groups of cases. Although the initial sample was believed to be large enough for the proposed analyses, the number of missing values and subsequent cases for analyses may have lowered the power for the analyses . For the current study, the initial sample of 216 principals resulted in 116 completed surveys. The ultimate response rate of 55% was considered to be adequate for the study. However, due to missing values, the number of cases included in the analyses of the hypotheses testing was reduced to 83 . As noted by Cook and Campbell (1979), the smaller sample size may have presented a threat to the statistical conclusion validity of the study , or the ability to make inferences about the relationships between the variables or sets of variables . Due to the small sample size , the statistical power may have been limited to detecting anything but the strongest effects . Within the current study, the low statistical power may have also increased the possibility of making an

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171 incorrect no-difference conclusion , or Type II error. Therefore , the results of the hypotheses testing are inconclusive . A larger sample size may have resulted in very different results. Implications This section outlines the theoretical and practical implications for the results of the current study . Theory The measurement of principals ' preventive coping resources is a relatively new area of research . Allison ' s prior research (1997) shows promising results in terms of the role of coping techniques and reductions of principal stress . Amongst Allison ' s conclusions was the fact that principals who had broader coping repertoires tended to be in better health and to experience lower stress levels , in comparison to principals with limited coping repertoires . The finding that a significant relationship was demonstrated between principals' stress levels and principals ' preventive coping resources , as well as Allison's conclusions , support the need for further research to explore the role of preventive coping resources relative to stress. The role of coping resources in association with stress and academic failure with school-age children and adolescents has been demonstrated (Matheny , Aycock, & McCarthy , 1993) . In addition , the relative importance of coping resources for individuals seeking reemployment has also been substantiated (Holmes & Werbel , 1992). Although the mediational role of preventive coping resources was not found to be statistically significant for the sample of public school principals in this study , again , the fact that a statistically

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172 significant relationship was demonstrated between administrative stress and preventive coping resources warrants the need for further investigation and studies. Continued research on the relationship between preventive coping resources and administrator stress may yield information about the potential role of preventive coping resources as a moderator that affects the direction and strength of the relationship between stress and some other specified antecedent variable . Another alternative thought to the mediational model may be that the relationship between stressors and coping resources , as well as the role served by coping resources , may vary depending on the nature of the particular stressors and coping resources included in the model. Practice The pressures presented to today ' s principals do not show signs of lessening in severity (Deal & Peterson , 1994). Likewise , Gmelch , and Swent (1984) identified four of the most troubling stressors of principals that corresponded to their managemen t of activities and relationship to time . As demonstrated in the current study, the primary stressors identified by principals almost two decades ago , remain the same as today. The need to balance these daily tasks in order to be responsive to the majority of constituents is of utmost importance . Relative to this , Perkins-Gough (2002) reported that the second most cited barrier to improving teacher quality was unresponsive admin i strat i ons that do not support good teachers. Although the exact nature of the relationship between preventive coping resources and principals ' stress levels cannot be determined, this association

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173 has been substantiated . Therefore, several implications can be drawn from the current results . First and foremost, school districts will need to recognize the potential burnout consequence of time pressures and extended work hours of principals. Preservice and training programs will need to assist principals with time and activity management strategies, as well as organizational skills . At the same time, staff development opportunities for school administrators will need to present the related research on stress and optimal performance, as well as the importance of balancing stress and performance . Efforts should be directed to raising principals ' awareness and understanding of stress and in the identification of the various types of frequently occurring stressors experienced, as well as the coping resources and strategies that are employed to handle these pressures . Staff development programs will also need to enhance principals' development of a repertoire of coping resources and strategies to counteract different stressors in different settings and situations . The importance of principal support groups may also be studied within districts in order to offer support and strategies for the daily stressors, as well as to lessen the effects of work related stress . Likewise, changes in the length of principals' school year and the contracts under which principals operate should be explored further to consider alternatives. As a result of the current study, agreement with Gmelch and Swent is conceded in terms of the facts that principals would benefit from professional development which focuses on the enhancement of interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution skills , and community relations building activities . In addition, training programs , preservice activities, and regular updates are needed

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174 in order to enhance principals ' understanding and comfort level on issues related to compliance with federal , state , and district regulations , procedures , and guidelines . Recommendations for Future Research Research in the following areas may continue to enhance the understanding of the relationsh i ps among principal characteristics , school demographic variables , preventive coping resources, and principal stress. 1 . A replication of the current study with a larger sample may yield the statistical power to detect stronger effects. In addition , the investigation may be expanded to include a structured follow-up interview or focus group with principals to facilitate further self-disclosure regarding sources of stress and principals ' preventive coping resources. 2 . Research that compares stress levels of principals relative to other educational professionals (i.e ., instructional staff , district administrators , and support staff) over a period of time to determine differences in role groups , as well as changes in the intensity of stress levels may provide further implications for the professional training needs of various role groups. 3. Replication of the current study allowing for the revision of the various antecedent variables would provide additional information relative to preventive coping resources . Such antecedent variables may investigate current professional development opportunities or contractual benefits for principals relevant to preventive stress management and coping resources . As another alternative , the research methodology may include a measure of school

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175 accountability or grading practices as one of the antecedent variables when studying stress in public school principals in Florida. 4. Research that allows for comparisons of principals' stress levels between various states that have differing accountability practices may provide additional support for the concerns expressed by the principals in the current study regarding the stress associated with current accountability mechanisms and plans. 5 . Research allowing for a longitudinal study of principals and stress over time would be beneficial. Of particular interest would be studying principals ' stress levels as accountability measures assess improvement in school performance versus maintenance of school performance . 6. There is a need to investigate further the role of preventive coping resources as a possible moderator, versus a mediator. 7 . Finally , research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of different coping resources when matching the resources with various sources of stress, possibly providing an alternative explanation to the role of preventive coping resources .

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APPENDIX A LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION TO USE THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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C~Sor(,ee,, 821 23 rd, N eMJ S VV\.Cv 13 eadv, FL 3 216 9 386-'+27-1'+12 April 10 , 2002 Dr. Walter H . Gmelch Dean, College of Education Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50011 Dr. Gmelch : I am a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program at the University of Florida. I am currently working on the proposal for my dissertation. The purpose of my study is to examine the relationship between selected principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and the preventive coping resources of public school principals in relation to their overall level of stress . My review of the literature has introduced me to the Administrative Stress Index (ASI) . I am interested in operationalizing principals' stressors using the Administrative Stress Index, developed by you and Dr. Swent in 1982 . Although we have corresponded about the instrument via e-mail , I am seeking your permission to reproduce and use the ASI in my study . Likewise , I am interested in any new research that you might have regarding the instrument. I appreciate your consideration to my request for permission to use your instrument. Sincerely , Connie Sorice Doctoral Candidate 177

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APPENDIX B PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY OF SC IEN CE A N D T EC HNOL O GY April 25 , 2002 Connie Sorice 821 23 rd Ave. New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 Dear Connie : Co lleg e of Edu cat ion O ffi ce of th e Dean E262 L ago m arcino H a ll Ames , I owa 50 0 11-3 1 90 5 1 5 294-7001 FAX 515 2 94-97 15 co l educias t ate .e du I hereby grant you permission to use the ASI in your dessenation research. My only request is that you cite the copyright of the instrument (Walter H. Gmelch & Boyd Swent) and provide a summary of the results for both validity & reliability purposes . I am enclosing a copy of the Journal of Applied Psychology article which addresses the properties of the ASL Best of wishes with your research . Sincerely , !II~ Walter H. Gmelch Dean & Professor WG:ly Enclosure 179

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APPENDIX C LETTER REQUESTING PERMISSION TO USE THE PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY

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c~ Sor(.ce,, 821 23 '" d, Av& N e,w S Vvtev 13 ectd-v, FL 3 216 9 386 427 1412 April 10 , 2002 Dr . Christopher McCarthy Associate Professor Dept. of Educational Psychology University of Texas George I. Sanchez Bldg . 504 Austin , Texas 78712-1296 Dr . McCarthy : I am a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program at the University of Florida . I am currently working on the proposal for my dissertation . The purpose of my study is to examine the relationship between selected principal characteristics , school demographic variables , and the preventive coping resources of public school principals in relation to their overall level of stress . My reviews of the literature and conferences with my committee co-chair , Dr . Anne Seraphine , have introduced me to the Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI) . I am interested in operationalizing principals ' preventive coping resources using the Preventive Resources Inventory , developed by you and Dr . Lambert in 2001. Therefore , I am seeking your permission to reproduce and use the PR I in my study. Likewise , I am interested in any additional new or unpublished research that you might have regarding the instrument. I appreciate your consideration to my request for permission to use your instrument. Sincerely , Connie Sorice Doctoral Candidate 181

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APPENDIX D PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY

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C01'\.t'\le, Sori-< 821 23rd, Av~ New S ~rru;v Bead FL 3 216 9 386-427-1412 April 10 , 2002 Dr . Christopher McCarthy Associate Professor Dept. of Educational Psychology University of Texas George I. Sanchez Bldg . 504 Austin, Texas 78712-1296 Dr. McCarthy : I am a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program at the University of Florida . I am currently working on the proposal for my dissertation . The purpose of my study is to examine the relationship between selected principal characteristics, school demographic variables, and the preventive coping resources of public school principals in relation to their overall level of stress . My reviews of the literature and conferences with my committee co-chair, Dr. Anne Seraphine, have introduced me to the Preventive Resources Inventory (PRI). I am interested in operationalizing principals' preventive coping resources using the Preventive Resources Inventory, developed by you and Dr. Lambert in 2001. Therefore, I am seeking your permission to reproduce and use the PRI in my study . Likewise , I am interested in any additional new or unpublished research that you might have regarding the instrument. I appreciate your consideration to my request for permission to use your instrument. Sincerely, c;k1U,)~ Connie Sorice Doctoral Candidate 183 vh ,. ..r(__ /(:j1, ... ...., fle-.K. &+r<

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APPENDIX E REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

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CO"l'tt"CM'\.C-' A . Webev Sor{..( 8 21 2 3 " d, A ve,n,ue,, N e,w S vVUiv 13 eadv, FL. 3 216 9 April 17 , 2002 Teresa Railey Sancho Florida Department of Education 325 W . Gaines Street , Room 852 Tallahassee , FL. 32399-0400 Dear Ms . Sancho : I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida and will be conducting survey research as part of the dissertation requirements . As my study involves the random selection of public school principals throughout the state, I am requesting a list of all public schoo l principals , K-12 , and their residential addresses for the 2001-2002 school year . As I am interested in all districts , i t would be helpful to have the list of names assorted by district. In addition , please sort the principal ' s names by level ( i.e ., elementary , middle , high) , if possible . Per your email of April 1 o t\ it is my understanding that there will not be a charge for this list, as I am a student. If you have additional questions , please feel free to call me at 386-734-7190 , extension 20517 , during the day. My email address at work is : Csorice@mail. volusia . k 12.fl. us Thank you again for your assistance . Sincerely , Constance A. Weber-Sorice 185

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APPENDIX F UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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TITLE OF PROTOCOL: A Pre-Test of the Reliability and Item-Total Correlation of the Administrative Stress Index . PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Connie Weber-Sorice, Doctoral Candidate Educational Leadership Program, University of Florida 821 23 rd Ave. New Smyrna Beach , FL 32169 386-427-1412 soricehome@aol.com SUPERVISOR: Dr. Anne Seraphine Department of Educational Psychology 1408 Norman Hall Gainesville , FL 32611 352-392-0723, ext 230 seraphine@coe.ufl . edu DATES OF PROPOSED PROTOCOL: April to May of 2002 SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: None SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION: To explore the reliability and item-total correlation of the Administrative Stress Index , a 35-item questionnaire designed to measure sources of school administrators ' job related stress . RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: This researcher will randomly select 30 principals from the population of principals in a large Central Florida school district. The Informed Consent letter, along with a copy of the Participant Questionnaire; the Administrative Stress Index; and two pre-addressed , stamped envelopes will be sent, via U.S. Mail to each of the principals' residences. The letter of Informed Consent will explain the purpose of the study, the voluntary nature of the principals ' participation, and the directions for completion of the instrument. The principals will be asked to complete the 10-item Participant Questionnaire and the 35item Administrative Stress Index, using a pen or pencil. In addition, the letter will explain the process for returning the Informed Consent and the questionnaire, separate from each other, in the two pre-addressed , stamped envelopes. The principal participants will return the white copy of the NCR Informed Consent, while retaining the yellow copy for their records. Upon receipt of the Administrative Stress Indexes from the participants, this researcher will analyze the reliability and item-total correlations using SPSS v11.0. 187

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188 POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND ANTICIPATED RISK: There will be no direct benefits or personal risks for participation in this study. DESCRIPTION HOW PARTICIPANTS WILL BE RECRUITED, THE NUMBER AND AGE OF THE PARTICIPANTS, AND PROPOSED COMPENSATION: This researcher will randomly select a total of 30 principals from a large school district in Central Florida. The principals' mailing addresses will be obtained from the 2001 2002 Personnel Directory for the district. Participants will vary in age and gender; however, no participants will be under the age of 18. There will be no compensation for the individuals participating. INFORMED CONSENT PROCESS: This researcher will mail the Informed Consent, the Participant Questionnaire , the Administrative Stress Index, and two pre-addressed stamped envelopes to the principals. The Informed Consent will be printed on NCR paper. The principals will be asked to sign the consent if they wish to voluntarily participate, placing the white copy in the envelope for return to this researcher via U.S. Mail, and retaining the yellow copy for their records. The completed Participant Questionnaires and Administrative Stress Indexes will be placed in the second pre-addressed, stamped envelope; allowing for anonymity of responses . Attachments : Informed Consent Letter , Participant Questionnaire, Administrative Stress Index Supervisor

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APPENDIX G LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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Dear Principal: Department of Educational Leadership PO Box 117049 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-7049 I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida , conducting research on the perceived stressors of public school principals. The purpose of this pre-test is to examine the reliabil i ty and item-total correlations of the Administrative Stress Index. This 35-item questionnaire is designed to measure sources of school administrators' job-related stress. I am asking you to complete a 10-item Participant Questionnaire and the Admin i strat iv e Stress Index , using a pencil or pen. This will require approximately 10 minutes of you r time . Pursuant to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board, you do not have to answer any question that you do not wish to. Your participation is strictly voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating . You also have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your name will not be connected to the completed questionnaire or Administrative Stress Index . Nor will your name be used in any report. In addition , there will be no personal risks or direct benefits for your participation in th i s study . No compensation is offered for your participation . If you have any questions about this research project, please contact me at 386-427-1412 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Anne Seraphine, at 352-392-0723. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; ph (352) 392-0433 . Please sign and return the white copy of the Informed Consent letter in one of enclosed , pre-addressed, stamped envelopes. The yellow copy is provided for your records . By signing this letter , you give me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final analysis to be submitted to my faculty supervisor for this project. Please return the completed Participant Questionnaire and the Administrative Stress Index in the second envelope . Thank you for taking time to participate in this pre-test. Your time and attention are most appreciated. Connie Weber-Sorice I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in this pilot study and I have received a copy of this description. APPROVED ev Signature of Participant Date White Copy Return to Researcher 190 University of Florida lnst i tut ion el &l',,' ie w Board (IR Protocol# ].. For Use Throu gh _++-,.,0~=-.._ Yellow Copy Participant ' s Copy

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APPENDIX H UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Institutional Review Board DATE : TO : FROM : SUBJECT: 12-Apr-2002 Ms. Connie Weber-Sorice 821 23rd A venue New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 , 0 C. Michael Levy, Chair /I Nll\,l\ jA University of Florida Vf' 6 Institutional Review Board Approval of Protocol # 2002 344 98A Psychology Bldg. PO Box 112250 Gainesville, FL 32611-2250 Phone: (352) 392-0433 Fax: (352) 392-9234 E-mail: irb2@ufl.edu http: //www .rgp.ufl .e du/irb / irb02 TITLE : FUNDING: A Pre-Test of the Reliability and Item-Total Correlation of the Administrative Stress Index Unfunded I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has recommended approval of this protocol. Based on its review, the UFIRB determined that this research presents no more than minimal risk to participants. Given your protocol, it is essential that you obtain signed documentation of informed consent from each participant. Enclosed is the dated, !RB-approved informed consent to be used when recruiting participants for the research. If you wish to make any changes to this protocol, including the need to increase the number of participants authorized, you must disclose your plans before you implement them so that the Board can assess their impact on your protocol. In addition, you must report to the Board any unexpected complications that affect your participants . If you have not completed this protocol by 10-Apr-2003, please telephone our office (392-0433), and we will discuss the renewal process with you . It is important that you keep your Department Chair informed about the status of this research protocol. CML:dl/jw cc: Dr. Anne Seraphine Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution 192

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APPENDIX I PARTICIPANT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE PILOT STUDY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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PARTICIPANT QUESTIONNAIRE Please provide a response for each statement. 1. Gender : Female -Male -2 . Racial/Ethnic Category : American Indian/Alaskan Native -Asian/Pacific Islander --Black Non-Hispanic __ Hispanic -White Non-Hispanic 3 . Level of highest completed degree: Bachelor ' s -Master ' s --Specialist Doctorate -4 . Your current age at the time of the completion of this survey : __ 5. The number of students in the school where you are principal : 1 -500 -501 750 -__ 751 -1 , 000 -1 , 001 1 , 500 -1 , 501 2 , 500 -2 , 501 or more 6 . Your level of school: __ Elementary Middle __ High 7 . The total number of years you have been a principal in your career (including the current school year) : __ 8. Your total number of years in the education profession (including the current school year : __ 194

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APPENDIX J ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX-PILOT STUDY

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Administrative Stress Index Developed b y Walter H . Gmelch and Boyd Swent School administrators have identified the following 35 work related situations as sources of concern . It is possible that some of these situations bother you more than others . How much are you bothered by each of the situations listed below? Please circle the appropriate response . 1 = Rarely or Never Bothers Me 3 = Occasionally Bothers Me 5 = Frequently Bothers Me 1. Comply i ng with state , federal, and organizational rules and procedures 1 2 3 4 2 . Feeling that meetings take up too much time 1 2 3 4 . 3 . Trying to complete reports and other paperwork on time 1 2 3 4 . 4. Trying to gain public approval and/or financial support for school 1 2 3 4 proarams 5. Trying to resolve parent/school conflicts 1 2 3 4 6. Evaluating staff members' performance 1 2 3 4 7 . Having to make decisions that affect the lives of individual people that I 1 2 3 4 know (colleaques , staff members , students , etc . ) 8. Feeling that I have too heavy a work load, one that I cannot possibly 1 2 3 4 finish dunno the normal work dav 9 . Imposing excessively high expectations on myself 1 2 3 4 10 . Being interrupted frequently by telephone calls .. ' 1 2 3 4 11. Feeling that I have to participate in school activities outside of the normal 1 2 3 4 workinq hours at the expense of my personal time 12. Handling student discipline . problems 1 2 3 4 . ; 13. Feeling that the progress on my job is not what it should or could be 1 2 3 4 14. Feeling staff membfi!rs don ' t understand my goals and expectations 1 2 3 4 4 15 . Trying to resolve differences between / among staff members 1 2 3 4 16. Being involved in the collective bargaining process 1 2 3 4 17 . Writing memos , letters and other communications 1 2 3 4 18 . Administering the negotiated contract (grievances , interpretation , etc . ) 1 2 3 4 19 . Supervising and coordinating the tasks of many people 1 2 3 4 20 . Trying to resolve d i fferences between / among students 1 2 3 4 196 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 s 5 5 5 5

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197 How much are you bothered by each of the situations listed below? Please circle the appropr i ate response . 1 = Rarely or Never Bothers Me 3 = Occasionally Bothers Me 5 = Frequently Bothers Me 21 . Th i nk i ng tha t I will not be able to satisfy the confl i cting demands of those 1 2 3 who have authority over me 22. Preparing and all~ting budget resources / 1 2 3 23 . Hav i ng my work frequently interrupted by staff members who want to 1 2 3 talk 24 . Knowing I can ' t get information needed to carry out my job 1 2 3 properly 25 . Feeling pressure for better job performance over and above what I 1 2 3 think is reasonable 26. Trying to i _ nfluence my immediate supervisor's action s and 1 2 3 decisions that affects me 27. Not knowing what my supervisor thinks of me, or how he/she 1 2 3 evaluates mv performance 28 . Feeling that I have too little authority to carry out responsibilities 1 2 3 assigned to me '' 29. Speakinq in front of qroups 1 2 3 30 . Being unclear on just what the scope and responsibilities 1 2 3 assianed to me . 31 . Attempting to meet social expectations (housing , clubs , friends , 1 2 3 etc . ) 32 .' Trying to resolve differences with my supervisors. 1 2 3 33 . Feeling that I have too much responsibility delegated to me by my 1 2 3 supervisors 34 . Feelina that I am not fully Qualified to handle my iob 1 2 3 35 . Feelinq not enouqh is expected of me bv mv superiors 1 2 3 Permission granted to use the Administrative Stress Index by Walter H . Gmelch @ Iowa State University. 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

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APPENDIX K UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY

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TITLE OF PROTOCOL: The Relationship Between Selected Principal Characteristics, School Demographic Variables , Preventive Coping Resources , and Stressors of Public School Principals in Florida PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Connie Weber-Sorice , Doctoral Candidate Educational Leadership Program, University of Florida 821 23 rd Ave . New Smyrna Beach , FL 32169 386-427-1412 soricehome@aol . com SUPERVISORS: Dr . Phillip Clark (Chair) Department of Educat i onal Leadership 200-B Norman Hall Gainesville , FL 32611 352-392-2391 pac@coe . ufl . edu Dr . Anne Seraphine (Co-Chair) Department of Educational Psychology 1408 Norman Hall Gainesville , FL 32611 352-392-0723, ext 230 seraphine@coe.ufl.edu DATES OF PROPOSED PROTOCOL: May to August of 2002 SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: None SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION: This study will examine the relationship between selected principal characteristics , school demographic variables, the preventive coping resources , and stressors of public school principals in Florida . Spec i fically, the study will investigate the mediational role of preventive coping resources when examining the relationship between principals ' overall stress levels relative to principal gender, years of experience as a pr i ncipal , number of hours worked per week , district enrollment group, school level , and school enrollment. 199

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200 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: The following procedure will be used to conduct the research and to collect the data this study . The questionnaire packet will be mailed to a stratified random sample of Florida public school principals selected for the study . The 180 principals will represe the elementary, middle/junior, and high schools in Florida . The questionnaire packet be mailed to the principals ' residences, using the Florida Department of Education ' s Education Information and Accountability Services list of addresses . The packet w il l include : (a) a cover letter addressed to each principal explaining the purpose of the study and instructions for completing the questionnaires within the designated 14 da period ; (b) the questionnaires (Principal Characteristics/Demographic Questionna i re, Administrative Stress Index , and Preventive Resources Inventory) ; (c) two pre addressed stamped envelopes for the separate return of the Informed Consent and completed packet ; and (d) an NCR copy of the Informed Consent.

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201 Attachments: Informed Consent Letter , Administrative Stress Index, Preventive Resources Inventory, Principal Characteristics/School Demographic Questionnaire Chair Co-Chair I approve this protocol for submission to the UFIRB: 5-/'{-tlZ artment Chair

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APPENDIX L LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY

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Dear Principal: Department of Educational Leadership PO Box 117049 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-7049 I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida , conducting research on the mediational role of preventive coping resources and the overall stress levels of public school principals in Florida. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between selected principal characteristics, school demographic variables , and the preventive coping resources of principals in relation to their overall level of stress . More specifically , this correlational study will explore the mediational role of preventive coping resources and overall stress levels relative to principal gender, years of experience as a principal , number of hours worked per week, district enrollment group, school level and school enrollment. I am asking you to complete a paper-and-pencil questionnaire packet, which contains three separate surveys. First, you will be asked to share your perceptions of the activities that you perceive as stressors within your role as a principal in Florida. Secondly , you will be asked to identify the specific coping resources you find most helpful for stress prevention. Lastly, you will be asked to complete a survey which provides information about you, your career in educational administration, your school level, as well as school and district enrollments. Completion of the questionnaire packet will require approximately 15 20 minutes of your time. You do not have to answer any question that you do not wish to . Pursuant to the University of Florida's Institutional Review Board guidelines , your participation is strictly voluntary and there is no penalty for not participating . You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence . Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law . Your information will be assigned a code number. Your name will not be connected to the completed questionnaire packets . Nor will your name be used in any report . There will be no personal risks or direct benefits for your participation in this study. Your compensation for participating in this project will be a $15 gift card from a variety of store and restaurant choices . If you have any questions about this research project, please contact me at (386)-427-1412 or my faculty supervisor , Dr. Phillip Clark , at (352)-392-2391 . Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida , Box 112250 , Gainesville, FL 32611 ; (352)-392-0433 . If you agree to participate in this study , please sign and date this Informed Consent at the bottom , retaining the yellow copy for your records. In addition, please complete the enclosed gift card preference form as compensation for participating in this study. Return both the white copy of the Informed Consent along with your gift card preference form in the enclosed pre-addressed , stamped envelope provided for your convenience. Please complete and return the questionnaire packet in the separate pre-addressed stamped envelope. By signing this letter, you give me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final analysis to be submitted to my faculty supervisor for this project . Connie Weber-Sorice I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in this study and I have received a copy of this description . Signature of Participant Date White Copy Return to Researcher 203 APPROVEOBV University of Florida lnstltutional Review Board (IRB 02) ~:~~roug~~Jf ]003 Yellow Copy Participant ' s Copy

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APPENDIX M UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE FINAL RESEARCH STUDY

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(8.. UNIVERSITY OF ~FLORIDA Institutional Review Board DATE: TO: FROM : SUBJECT: Ma y 22, 2002 Ms . Connie Weber-Sorice New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 1 821 23rd Avenue ' C . Michael Levy , Chair f '.;ri \ University of Florida Institutional Review Board Approval of Protocol # 2002 452 98A Psychology Bldg . PO Box 112250 Gainesville , FL 32611-2250 Phone: (3 52 ) 392-0433 Fax : (352) 392-9234 E-mail : irb2 @ ufl.edu hnp :// www.rgp . ufl.edu/irb / irb02 TITLE: The Relationship Between Selected Principal Characteristics, School Demographic Variables , Preventive Coping Resources, and Stressors of Public School Principals in Florida FUNDING: Unfunded I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has recommended approval of this protocol. Based on its review , the UFIRB determined that this research presents no more than minimal risk to participants. Given your protocol, it is essential that you obtain signed documentation of informed consent from each participant. Enclosed is the dated , !RB-approved informed consent to be used when recruiting participants for the research. If you wish to make an y changes to this protocol, including the need to increase the number of participants authorized, yo u must disclose your plans before you implement them so that the Board can assess their impact on your protocol. In addition , you must report to the Board any unexpected complications that affect your participants. If you have not completed this protocol by 21-May-2003, please telephone our office (392-0433) , and we will discuss the renewal process with yo u . It is important that you keep your Department Chair informed about th e status of this research protocol. CML:dl / jw cc : Dr. Philip Clark Equ al Opportunity / Affirmati ve Action In s tituti on 205

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APPENDIX N UFIRB APPROVAL TO INCREASE SAMPLE SIZE FOR FINAL RESEARCH STUDY

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Institutional Revie w Board 98A Ps y cho logy Bld g. P O Box 112250 Ga i nesville, FL 32611-2250 Ph o n e: (352) 392-0433 F ax : (3 5 2) 392-2433 E m a i l: irb2 @ ufl . edu ht tp :// www . r gp. ufl. ed u /i r b / i r b 02 May 22 , 2002 MEMORANDUM To: From : Subject: Funding: Ms . Connie Weber Sorice 821 23 rd Avenue New Smyrna Beach , FL 32169 \ y C . Michael Levy , Ph.D ., Chair~ University of Florida Institutional Review Board UFIRB Protocol# 2002-452 (The Relationship Between Selected Principal Characteristics , School Demographic Variables , Preventive Cop i ng Resources , and Stressors of Public School Principals in Florida) Unfunded The request , received May 21, 2002 to revise the above referenced protocol has been reviewed and approved . Approval of this protocol runs through May 21 , 2003. Any further revisions to this protocol , including the need to increase the number of participants authorized must be reviewed by the Board prior to implementation . CML : dl/js (increasing sample size) Eq u al O p po rtun ity / Affi rm a ti ve Actio n In s t i tu tio n 207

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APPENDIX 0 PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS/SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE

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PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS/SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Please provide a response for each statement. 1 . Gender : Female -Male -2 . Racial/Ethnic Category : American l'ndian/Alaskan Native -Asian/Pacific Islander --Black Non-Hispanic -Hispanic __ White Non-Hispanic 3. Level of highest completed degree : Bachelor ' s -__ Master's -Specialist Doctorate -4 . Your age when you were first appointed to a principalship: __ 5 . The total number of years you have been a principal in your career (including the current school year) : __ 6 . Please identify the school leve l s at which you have been a principal during your career , providing the number of years of experience as a principal at each level. School Level : Number of Years of Experience at this level: __ Elementary Middle/Junior --Combination Middle/High __ High __ Other _____ _ 7. Your total number of years in the education profession (including the current school year) : __ 8. Your current age at the time of the completion of this survey : __ 9. The approximate average number of hours you work per week (i.e. , attending school functions , school district meetings) : __ 10. Select the demographic category that best describe the district where you are a principal : __ Mainly rural __ Mainly urban __ Mainly suburban 209

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210 11 . The enrollment group/PK-12 membership (number of students) in the district where you are principal : __ Small (Less than 7 , 000) __ Medium/Small (7 , 00019,999) __ Medium (20 , 000 39 , 999) __ Large (40,000 100 , 000) __ Very Large (Greater than 100,000) 12. The type of school for which you are currently a principal : __ Elementary __ Middle/Junior __ Combination Middle/High __ High __ Other (Please describe) _______________ _ 13 . Select the majority Racial/Ethnic category of the student population of your school : American Indian/Alaskan Native -Asian/Pacific Islander --Black Non-Hispanic __ Hispanic __ White Non-Hispanic 14 . The number of students in the school where you are principal : 1-500 __ 501-750 __ 751-1 , 000 -1,001 1 , 500 -1 , 501 2 , 500 __ 2 , 501 or more 15 . Select the category that best identifies the Socioeconomic Status (SES) level o f the student population of your school : __ Mainly low SES __ Mainly middle SES __ Mainly high SES 16 . Overall, what do you perceive your stress level to be? __ Low __ Average __ High

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APPENDIX P ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS INDEX

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Administrative Stress Index Developed by Walter H . Gmelch and Boyd Swent School administrators have identified the following 35 work related situations as sources of concern . It is possible that some of these situations bother you more than others . How much are you bothered by each of the situations listed below? Please circle the appropriate response . 1 = Rarely Never Bothers Me 3 = Occasionally Bothers Me 5 = FrequentJy Bothers Me 1 . Complying with state , federal , and organizational rules and procedures 1 2 3 4 2. Feeling that meetings take up too much time 1 2 3 4 3 . Trying to complete reports and other paperwork on time 1 2 3 4 4 . Trying to gain public approval and/or financial support for school 1 2 3 4 programs 5 . Trying to resolve parent/school conflicts 1 2 3 4 6. Evaluating staff members' perfonnance 1 2 3 4 7 . Having to make decisions that affect the lives of individual people that I 1 2 3 4 know (colleaQues , staff members , students , etc . ) 8. Feeling that I have too heavy a work load, one that I cannot possibly 1 2 3 4 finish during the normal work dav 9 . Imposing excessively high expectations on myself 1 2 3 4 10 . Being interrupted frequently by telephone calls 1 2 3 4 11 . Feeling that I have to participate in school activities outside of the normal 1 2 3 4 workinQ hours at the exoense of my oersonal time 12. Handling student discipline problems 1 2 3 4 13 . Feeling that the progress on my job is not what it should or could be 1 2 3 4 14. Feeling staff members don't understand my goals and expectations 1 2 3 4 15. Trying to resolve differences between/among staff members 1 2 3 4 16. Being involved in the collective bargaining process 1 2 3 4 17 . Writing memos , letters and other communications 1 2 3 4 18. Administering the negotiated contrad (grievances , interpretation, etc . ) 1 2 3 4 19 . Supervising and coordinating the tasks of many people 1 2 3 4 20. Trying to resolve differences between/among students 1 2 3 4 212 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

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213 How much are you bothered by each of the situations listed below? Please circle the appropriate response . 11 = Rarely or Never Bothers Me 13 = Occasionally Bothers Me _ I s = Frequently Bothers Me 21 . Thinking that I will not be able to satisfy the conflicting demands of those 1 2 3 4 who have authority over me 22. Preparing and allocating budget resources/ 1 2 3 4 23 . Having my work frequently interrupted by staff members who want to 1 2 3 4 talk 24. Knowing I can't get information needed to carry out my job 1 2 3 4 . ..,,~..__,y 25. Feeling pressure for better job performance over and above what I 1 2 3 4 think is reasonable 26 . Trying to influence my immediate supervisor's actions and 1 2 3 4 decisions that affects me 27. Not knowing what my supervisor thinks of me, or how he/she 1 2 3 4 evaluates my performance 28. Feeling that I have too little authority to carry out responsibilities 1 2 3 4 assianed to me . , ,., : . " 29 . Speaking in front of groups 1 2 3 4 30. Being unclear on just what the scope and responsibilities 1 2 3 4 assianed to me . 31. Attempting to meet social expectations (housing, dubs, friends, 1 2 3 4 etc.} 32, Trying to resolve differences with my sucervisors. 1 2 3 4 33. Feeling that I have too much responsibility delegated to me by my 1 2 3 4 supervisors 34. Feelina that I am not fullv aualified to handle mv iob 1 2 3 4 35 . Feeling not enough is expected of me by my superiors 1 2 3 4 Identify other stressors for public school principals in Florida that were not presented on the Administrative Stress Index: Permission granted to use the Administrative Stress lndex 0 by Walter H . Gmelch@ Iowa State University . 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 '5 5

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APPENDIX Q PREVENTIVE RESOURCES INVENTORY

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Preventive Resources Inventory Developed by Christopher McCarthy, Ph . D . University of Texas at Austin Richard G. Lambert, Ph.D . University of North Carolina at Charlotte Using the scale below, please rate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements by circling a response. I 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neutral 4 = Agree 5= Strongly Agree 1 . I can handle most things . 1 2 3 4 5 2. I can handle stressful situations. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I usually succeed at whatever I try. 1 2 3 4 5 4 . I have strengths, which allow me to overcome obstacles . 1 2 3 4 5 5 . I may not always get what I want. 1 2 3 4 5 6 . I have limitations . 1 2 3 4 5 7 . I can trust my own judgment. 1 2 3 4 5 8 . I have enough money for my needs . 1 2 3 4 5 9 . I know what is best for me. 1 2 3 4 5 10 . I believe the difficulties I am facing will not last forever . 1 2 3 4 5 11 . I can solve most of the problems I face. 1 2 3 4 5 12. I know how to think about situations in a positive way . 1 2 3 4 5 13 . I know how to make social situations more comfortable . 1 2 3 4 5 14 . I know how to make others feel comfortable. 1 2 3 4 5 15 . I know how to handle stress. 1 2 3 4 5 16 . I know how to pick the right coping strategy for the right situation. 1 2 3 4 5 17 . I can learn new tasks. 1 2 3 4 5 18 . If I fail in one situation, I know I can still succeed in other situations. 1 2 3 4 5 19 . I am in control of my life. 1 2 3 4 5 20 . I know how to prepare for stressful situations. 1 2 3 4 5 21 . I can adapt to change . 1 2 3 4 5 22 . By organizing and planning my day, I am usually able to keep my daily 1 2 3 4 5 demands . 215

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216 Using the scale below , please rate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements by circling a response. 1 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neutral 4 = Agree 5= Strongly Agree 23 . I usually don ' t create stress for myself by putting things off . 1 2 3 4 5 24 . I am a flexible person . 1 2 3 4 5 25. I am able to prevent stress by being clear about my priorities . 1 2 3 4 5 26 . I am able to reduce my daily demand level by planning ahead . 1 2 3 4 5 27 . I can find the bright side to most situations . 1 2 3 4 5 28 . I stay oraanized . 1 2 3 4 5 29 . I can usually see many ways to attack a problem. 1 2 3 4 5 30 . I know how to keep mv options ooen. 1 2 3 4 5 31 . I use humor to keep others at ease. 1 2 3 4 5 32 . I see problems as oooortunities to grow and learn . 1 2 3 4 5 33 . I am able to avoid causing myself stress by keeping things in 1 2 3 4 5 perspective . 34 . I know when I need to " go with the flow" to prevent a situation 1 2 3 4 5 from becomina stressful. 35 . I am able to prevent stress by accepting responsibilities rather 1 2 3 4 5 than avoiding them . 36 . I know how to learn from my mistakes . 1 2 3 4 5 37. I know my own limits. 1 2 3 4 5 38 . I keep failures and difficulties in perspective . 1 2 3 4 5 39 . I know I can ' t be all things to all people . 1 2 3 4 5 40 . I have friends and relatives who can help me avoid trouble in my 1 2 3 4 5 life . 41 . My sense of humor helps keep my stress level under control. 1 2 3 4 5 42 . I have others to call upon when needed. 1 2 3 4 5 43 . I use humor to keep difficulties from becoming stressful. 1 2 3 4 5 44 . I lead a well-rounded life . 1 2 3 4 5 45 . I am able to reduce stress in my life by focusing on my values . 1 2 3 4 5 46 . I am able to reduce stress in my life by focusing on my priorities . 1 2 3 4 5 47 . Because my life is balanced, problems in one area of my life don't 1 2 3 4 5 unduly affect my overall happiness .

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217 Using the scale below, please rate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements by circling a response . I 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neutral 4 =Agree 5= Strongly Agree 48 . I can laugh at myself . 1 2 49 . I know who I am. 1 2 50 . I have goals that keep me focused . 1 2 51. I know how to delegate tasks to others. 1 2 52 . I form mutually beneficial relationships with others . 1 2 53 . I am able to divide up tasks with others in a way that benefits 1 2 others. 54 . I have mutually supportive relationships . 1 2 55 . I accept the input of others . 1 2 56 . I am able to use constructive criticism . 1 2 57. I ask for help . 1 2 58 . Other people consider me helpful. 1 2 59. I can communicate my needs to others . 1 2 60 . I am _ able to ask for emotional support . 1 2 Do you have additional comments regarding how you can prevent stress? Permission granted to use the Preventive Resources Inventory by Christopher McCarthy . 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5

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APPENDIX R LETTER TO PRINCIPALS-SECOND MAILING

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June , 2002 Dear Principal : University of Florida Department of Educational Leadership P.O . Box 117049 Gainesville, Florida 32611-7049 You should have recently received a questionnaire in the mail and a letter requesting your participation in my dissertation study . If you have already returned the survey packet , please disregard this letter and accept my thanks for your contribution to the body of research relevant to school leadership . If you have not returned the questionnaire, a second copy is enclosed for your convenience . I am again seeking your time and assistance in the completion of the enclosed survey for my dissertation. Please return the packet as soon as possible so that you may receive a gift card for your participation . I appreciate your assistance . Thank you in advance . Sincerely , Constance A. Weber-Sorice Doctoral Candidate University of Florida 219

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APPENDIX S GIFT CARD PREFERENCE FORM

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GIFT CARD PREFERENCE FORM Dear Principal : While there are no direct benefits for participating in this research study , I would like to offer you compensation for your time in completing the questionnaires . As previously stated , completion of the questionnaires will require approx i mately 15 20 minutes of you~ time . Please return this gift card preference form along with your signed and dated informed consent , in a separate envelope from the questionnaires to ensure anonymity of your responses . Thank you once again for your participation in this research study. I have completed and returned the research questionnaires in a separate envelope . As compensation, I would like to receive a $15.00 gift card from one the following restaurants/stores (please mark the appropriate box): Restaurants: Olive Garden -Red Lobster -Stores: __ Home Depot __ Target Please mail my gift card to the following address (please print): Name ------------------------Address -----------------------221

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APPENDIX T RESPONSE CARD FOR PRINCIPAL PARTICIPANTS

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'To teacfi , to guiae, to ezyfain, to fie[p, to nurture tfiese are [ife s noG[est attainments. ~rank_ 'Tyger 'Tfiank_you for your time ana assistance in comp[eting tfie survey for my dissertation. P[ease accept tliis tokr,n of appreciation for your contriGution to tfie Goay of researcfi re[evant to sclioo[ Ceaaersliip. 223

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APPENDIX U OPEN ENDED RESPONSES TO SOURCES OF STRESS

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Identify other stressors for public school principals in Florida that were not presented on the Administrative Stress Index. 1 . Dealing with irrational and demanding parents who feel the school is wrong . 2. For the most part , principals have little security by working on one year contracts. 3 . Demanding parents who continue to go to the board for results. 4 . Accountability issues related to school grading procedures . 5 . Hiring staff --finding qualified. 6. A state education department that is run by someone who is not certified by the state to be a teacher . Look how education has not been the same since an " educator" (Betty Castor) has been in charge . 7 . Influence by school board members in decisions ; playing the political game ; subjective evaluations. 8 . School grades . 9 . Uninformed legislators ; legislation that requires more from schools without appropriate resource allocations ; general disrespect for the role of principals and the dimensions of their position. 10. Parents not understanding and supportive of school/county code of conduct; the time involved in documenting poor teachers and attempting to help or remove these teachers . 11 . Principals have been thrust into a political arena created by A+ schools bonus " negotiations " between SAC and staff . It ' s a no-win scenario . 225

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226 Supervisors have no clue what principals go through. They dwell on minor issues and tend to expect or ignore accomplishments . Our school was an A+ school last year yet the principal received an average evaluation. Stress comes in mysterious ways . 12 . The inability of school board members to realized that one phone call is not an emergency. To follow processes that are problem solving in nature . 13 . Feeling pressure to comply with expectations of those ABOVE my supervisor (school board members) . 14 . School grading system ; performance pay. 15. Having your students score high on FCA T ; making an ~ " grade ; teaching to the test rather than the curriculum . 16 . Inability (lack of finances/time) to initiate needed school reform . 17 . Accountability --school grades which measure all schools equally. I have a very low socioeconomic school , high minority and transient. Trying to figure out how to help teachers prepare students of difficult population with NO excuses . 18 . Lack of knowledge on the part of district administrators and state elected officials and board members. 19 . Expectations for school grade . 20 . Parent demands and lack of support to administrators and teachers . State using FCA T for political purposes . Vouchers . 21. Accountability --the pressures associated with school performance on state testing . Competition among schools/public opinion. Lack of qualified ,

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227 high performing teachers . Lack of sufficient staff and the resulting high teacher/student ratios. 22. Stress from private life. 23 . Receiving proper support from police agency during arrival/dismissa l of students . (Traffic , police presence to reduce problems) . Mail --amounts of e-mail as well as hard copy. 24. Public perception that anyone could or can do the job of principal. 25 . FCA T! School grades! Recruiting qualified teachers! 26. Keeping up with the constant flood of incoming communication --e-mails , U.S. mail , and school system mail. The caution you always have to have in regards to risk management and avoiding law suits . Safety concerns for students and staff 27. Safety of students and staff 28 . Test score expectations . 29 . FCAT. 30 . Understanding what faces children in the community . Violence i n the community --drugs . Student ' s personal needs not met. 31 . FCA T testing and school grade . However , my school grade i s currently a " B. " 32 . Media misinformation/unfair treatment because of who the school " is ." Technology allows quick tum around not possible for individual to keep up when all added together. 33 . FCAT.

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228 34. Legislation continues to add to administrative responsibilities with no " subtractions " (i . e ., No Child Left Behind . Alternative Certification , Performance Appraisal , etc.). 35. Policies/statutes adopted by legislators with no true understanding of impact on local -schoolhouse. Timelines for staff evaluation , contract renewal , etc . that fail to ' Jive " with legislative budget adoption . Lack of parental support when students are in the wrong without question . 36. Lack of parental involvement in the total support of their children . Abundance of paperwork--duplication (i . e ., e-mail , internal mail system , etc.). Lack of comprehensive training for 60% of teachers entering the teaching profession --must spend a significant amount of time and money in the training of new teachers . Once these new teachers are trained , a significant number transfer to schools in more affluent areas . 37 . Preparing low performing students and/or non-readers to pass the 9 th and 10 th grade FCA T. 38 . Coping with my concerns about perceptions of my supervisors and the public regarding FCA T scores and school grades . Coping with supervisors ' expectations on parent and teacher climate surveys . 39. Delegation of responsibilities to assistant principals and knowing that all delegated tasks are in process and completed. Reading , responding t o all the e-ma i l communications received . 40. State testing --grading . 41 . Insuring effective communication to the parents and public in our school .

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229 42 . My biggest frustration at this time is the inability of the district administrators to make decisions that school level personnel need in order to plan and staff our school for next year . Not knowing what courses I can offer or how many teachers I can hire is a real problem . 43. FCA T test demand for performance . All 3 rd graders to read on grade 3 level! FCA T test result for promotion . 44 . Lack of administrative assistant support. This school has no assistant principal , no curriculum coordinator , no elementary resource teache r, etc . 45 . Grading system --70+% poverty level --40+% mobility --Grade " C " District wants ' 'A " or " B ". 46 . Custodial and facility issues . Technology. 4 7 . Dealing with the effects of state accountability political objectives . Especially the effects of grading schools . 48 . Statewide grading system . 49 . Preparing students for the FCA T test . Finding ways to motivate truant students who are " at risk " and their parents . Finding money to obtain new and better programs and new and more technology. Finding the money and the time to continuously train and inservice teachers . 50 . Over emphasis on testing results . Pulled in too many directions . 51 . Salary compensation for all that we do . 52 . Dealing with staff turnover (due to low salary) . Managing custodians (not enough time) .

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230 53. Finding qualified teachers . Maturity level of young teachers . Government passing rules that put undue problems and extra duties onto school personnel. 54. FCAT --i.e. , grading system changes and public opinion tied too heavily to it . (Note : We ' ve been an "A" school since we were eligible to be graded. The pressure to keep the " A " status is tremendous --probably more so on the teachers , however). 55 . Putting up with district policies/procedures (i . e ., collective bargaining) that favor teachers over students. Lack of professionalism occasionally from peers (i . e ., hiring staff without following protocol) . Failure of district to truly support site-based decisions --too much top down regulations. 56. Lack of support from state legislatures (Bush/Republicans)! I have recently moved to Florida and am extremely surprised of the state ' s attitude , lack of funding , control , rhetoric , etc . toward public education. 57 . FCA T testing and grading of schools creates much stress on students , teachers , and administration . 58. Managing conflict resolutions with extra-curricular activities (i . e ., sports , band , FFA , prom , homecoming , pep rallies , etc.). Can you lead your teachers to be successful teachers with the FCA T? Finding certified staff in the summer time to complete your next year's staff Having to choose which battles can be won and then fighting for what is right or change . F. T. E audits.

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231 59 . One year contracts. Moved for FCA T scores . Fear tactics used by supervisors. Afraid to question decisions made by superintendent. Made an example of in meeting and newspaper . 60. Having enough allocated money in budget in order to deliver our goals and objectives . Not having adequate staff. 61 . Expectations by public , staff, and supervisors regarding high-stakes testing . 62. High stakes testing. Situations that politicize children . Not enough human resources to do what ' s necessary . 63 . As a working mom , I think the biggest stress is just juggling work , kids , home , husband , etc . 64 . My major concern is the Jack of support by district personnel when parents are unhappy with the discipline assigned to their children and interference of school board members and city officials at parents ' request. 65.After school hours activities (i.e. , football , basketball games , music concerts , School Advisory Council meetings , etc . ) . 66 . Test scores on FCAT ; that the major focus in Florida ' s schools has become the grading of schools because of the performance of students on one measurement --the FCA T.

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APPENDIX V OPEN ENDED RESPONSES TO PREVENTIVE COPING RESOURCES

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Do you have additional comments regarding how you can prevent stress? 1 . Have a principal support group where every principal meets once a month to discuss current pressing issues. 2 . The key to maintaining a perspective in light of the overwhelming responsibilities of a principal today, is to prioritize your values . My faith is my priority --it allows me to keep the overwhelming pressures of work in perspective. Support of my husband , children , and friends is essential to maintain BALANCE! 3. Fish , drink beer, stay in shape . 4 . Know when to slow down ; don ' t sweat the small stuff; keep things in perspective --order of importance. 5. Spiritual strength and guidance ; music ; exercise ; support wife and family ; make decisions based upon the mental model of what I would want done for my own children. 6 . Enjoy the day! 7. Physical activity/exercise. 8 . I think a principal has to have a proper balance between work , home , and play. One should never be so involved in work that they put everything else aside . 9 . Stress has never been a problem for me . 10 . As a principal , my job consumes too much of my energy. Problems do come home with me . 233

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234 11 . I really think I prevent stress because God is in control of my life . My beliefs assist in preventing stress . 12. One should have a hobby that they enjoy. 13 . My most dependable stress reliever is prayer and Bible reading . I depend on my relationship with God to get me through tough situations . 14 . I should exercise , but I rarely do. 15 . Physical exercise . Vacation days to rejuvenate. 16 . I schedule one hour per day (early 6 : 00 am) for myself --quiet time , reading , prayer , etc . 17 . Exercise on a regular basis --this is extremely important to me . 18 . Try not to bring work home . Home is not school related . Thus , able t o relax for down time . 19. Be happy. 20 . Supervising and coordinating the tasks of many people does not frequently bother me due to great assistant principals . 21 . Biblical --pray constantly! 22. A void taking myself to seriously. Hire a great secretary who can anticipate as well as protect . Know what I believe and make all decisions based on belief . 23. I am a religious individual whose faith in Supreme Being has been my saving grace throughout all of the " rough spots " in my life. My husband and I are best friends and have reached a point in our lives where we have realized that love , faith , trust and family provides the foundation for a

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235 stress-reduced life . The real key to my prevention of stress is to con t inue to focus on what is really important in my life and serve others as best I can. Remaining healthy both physically and mentally helps to sustain that balance between dedication and peace of mind . 24 . Find time to exercise! 25. Try to keep a balance . I can only do so much --stay balanced . Experience allows one to cope . Experience can provide wisdom . 26. I allocate specific times to think (worry) about things. This frees up other time for more enjoyable thoughts . I guard my personal life and t ime ; they take priority over my professional life and responsibilities . 27 . Exercise and eat correctly. 28 . One needs a balance --spiritually , physically , and emotionally. 29 . Very few things ever get to the point where I consider them stressful -most are just " part of the job ." The main thing that stresses me is unreasonable people (parents , teachers , etc.) who feel someth i ng should be changed or done to meet their needs. (If requests are reasonable , that is not stressful) . 30 . Being a born again Christian (since my youth) , I have a daily time of Bible reading , prayer and meditation . Understanding that I have access to God ' s help in all areas of my life . 31 . My life is far less stressful than in the past due to my spiritual beliefs in God .

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236 32 . Leave your professional life at work. There is more to life than your job . I never discuss school problems outside of school. 33. Although I am far from the level at which I wish to be in this regard , Faith in my heavenly Father and study of His word brings all of life ' s struggles into perspective . I believe stress is a result of my failure to lean on Him . My responses to your questions are very different than they would have been six years ago . He has taught me a great deal and continues to show me with His patient , loving kindness . 34 . Have hobbies and projects outside of the work place that has no relationship to my job as a principal . 35. Have faith in God! Mark 11 : 22 . 36 . I have the benefit of a wonderful support group of fellow administrators . 37 . Don ' t be too committed to having a life of your own . 38. Keep on target with paperwork and assignment and not getting off track help prevent stress .

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REFERENCES Allison , D . G . (1997) . Coping with stress in the principalship . Journal of Educational Administration 35, 39-55. Appley , M . H ., & Trumbull , R. (Eds.). (1984) . Dynamics of stress . New York : Plenum Press. Aspinwall , L. G ., & Taylor , S. E. (1997). A stitch in time : Self-regulation and proactive coping. Psychological Bulletin , 121 , 417-436. Babbie , E. R. (1973) . Survey research methods . Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Bailey , W. J . , Fillos , R ., & Kelly , B . (1987). Exemplary principals and stress--How do they cope? NASSP Bulletin , 71 , 77-81 . Baron , R . M., & Kenny , D . A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual , strategic , and statistical considerations . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 51 , 1173-1182. Barth , R. S. (1990) . Improving schools from within . San Francisco: Jessey-Bass . Bennis , W ., & Nanus , B . (1985). Leaders: Strategies for taking charge (2nd ed.). New York: Harper Collins . Bobko , P . (2001 ) . Correlation and regression (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks , CA: Sage . Brimm , J. L. (1983) . What stresses school administrators. Theory Into Practice , 22 , 64-69 . Burns , R. B . (2000) . Introduction to research methods . Thousand Oaks , CA: Sage . Cohen , J . (1988) . Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed . ) . Mahway , NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates . Cohen, J ., & Cohen , P . (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed . ) . Mahway , NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 237

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238 Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979) . Quasi-experimentation: Design & analysis issues for field settings. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K . D. (1994). The leadership paradox: Balancing logic and artistry in schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Doud, J. L. (1989). A ten-year study: The K-8 principal in 1988. Alexandria, VA: National Association of Elementary School Principals. Doud, J. L. & Keller, E. P. (1998). A ten-year study: The K-8 principal in 1998 . Alexandria, VA: National Association of Elementary School Principals. DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (1992). Creating the new American school: A principal's guide to school improvement. Bloomington, IN: National Education Service. Florida Department of Education-Education Information & Accountability Services . (2001, Fall) . Membership in Florida ' s public schools: PK-12 membership and percent change in rank order. Retrieved April 3, 2002, from http://www . firn . edu/doe/eias/eisaspubs/rankord.htm Folkman , S., Lazarus, R. S., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Delongis, A., & Gruen, R. J . (1986). Dynamics of a stressful encounter: Cognitive appraisal, coping, and encounter outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 50, 992-1003 . Folkman, S., Schaefer, C . , & Lazarus, R. S. (1979). Cognitive processes as mediators of stress and coping. In V. Hamilton & D. M. Warburton (Eds.), Human stress and cognition: An information processing approach (pp. 265-298). Chichester, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Frick, C. R., & Fraas, J. W. (1990, October). Stress and educational administration: Variations in stress factors across administrative levels. Paper presented at the 1 ih Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Gall, M. D., Borg, W.R., & Gall, J . P . (1996). Educational research: An introduction (6th ed . ) . White Plains, NY: Longman. Gmelch, W. H . , & Chan, W. (1994). Thriving on stress for success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Gmelch, W. H., & Chan, W. (1995). Administrator stress and coping effectiveness: Implications for administrator evaluation and development. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 9, 275-285.

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239 Gmelch , W . H ., & Swent , B . (1984). Management team stressors and their impact on administrators ' health . The Journal of Educational Administration , 22 , 193-205. Golembiewski , R. T. (1996). Public-sector change and burnout: Phases as antecedent , limiting condit i on , and common consequence. Public Productivity & Management Review , 20 , 56-59 . Greenberg , J . S. (1993). Comprehensive stress management (4 th ed .). Dubuque , IA: Wm . C . Brown Communications . Hobfoll , S . E. (1989) . Conservation of resources : A new attempt at conceptualizing stress. American Psychologist , 44 , 513-524. Holmes , B. H. , & Werbel , J. D . (1992) . Finding work following job loss : The role of coping resources . Journal of Employment Counseling , 29 , 22-30 . lvancevich , J.M ., & Matteson , M . T. (1980). Optimizing human resources : A case for preventive health and stress management. Organizational Dynamics , 9 , 5-25 . Judd , C . M. , Smith , E. R. , & Kidder , L. H. (1991). Research methods in soc i al relations (6th ed . ) . Forth Worth , TX : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Kahn , R . L. (1970). Some propos i tions toward a researchable conceptualization of stress . In McGrath, J. E. (Ed . ) , Social and psychological factors in stress (pp . 97-103) . New York : Holt , Rinehart , & Winston . Koch , J. L. , Tung , R. , Gmelch , W ., & Swent , B. (1982). Job stress among school administrators: Factorial dimensions and differential effects . Journal of Applied Psychology , 67 , 493 499. Lam , Y. L. J . (1988) . External environmental constraints and job-related stress on school administrators . The Journal of Educational Administration , 26 , 250-265 . Lazarus , R. S. ( 1991 ) . Emotion and adaptation . New York: Oxford University Press . Lazarus , R . S. , & Folkman , S. (1984) . Stress , appraisal , and coping . New York: Springe r. Leithwood, K . A. , Cousins , J. 8 ., & Smith , M . G. R. (1990). Principals ' problem solving : types of problems encountered . The Canadian School Executive , 9 , 11-15 .

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240 Lepore, S. J ., & Evans, G . W . (1996) . Coping with multiple stressors in the environment. In M . Zeidner and N . S. Endler (Eds.), Handbook of coping: Theory , research , applications (pp. 350-377). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Lyons, J. E. (1990). Managing stress in the principalship. NASSP Bulletin , 74, 44-47 . Matheny, K . B ., Aycock, D. W ., & McCarthy, C . J. (1993). Stress in school-aged children and youth. Educational Psychology Review , 5, 109-134 . Matheny, K. B ., Aycock, D. W., Pugh, J. L., Curlette, W. L., & Silva Cannella, K. A. (1986) . Stress coping: A qualitative and quantitative synthesis with implications for treatment. The Counseling Psychologist , 14 , 499-549. McCabe, P. M., & Schneiderman , N. (1984) . Psychophysiologic reactions to stress. In N . Schneiderman & J. T. Tapp (Eds.), Behavioral medicine : The biopsychosocial approach (pp. 99-131) . Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. McCarthy, C. J., & Lambert, R. G . (1999). Structural model of coping and emotions produced by taking a new job. Journal of Employment Counseling , 36, 50-66 . McCarthy, C. J ., Lambert, R. G ., & Brack, G. (1997) . Structural model of coping, appraisals, and emotions after relationship breakup. Journal of Counseling & Development , 76 , 53-64. McCarthy, C. J ., Lambert, R. G ., Beard, M ., & Dematatis, A. (2001 ). [Factor structure of the Preventive Resources Inventory and its relationship to existing measures of stress and coping). Unpublished raw data. McGrath, J. E. (1970a). A conceptual formulation for research on stress. In McGrath, J. E. (Ed.), Social and psychological factors in stress (pp . 10 21 ). New York: Holt , Rinehart , & Winston. McGrath, J.E. (1970b). Major substantive issues: Time, setting, and the coping process . In McGrath, J. E. (Ed.), Social and psychological factors in stress (pp. 22 40) . New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. Mills, R . J. (1981 ). Psychological stress and coping techniques among selected elementary school principals. Unpublished doctoral dissertation , University of California , Los Angeles.

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241 Murphy , J. , & Louis , K. S . (1999) . Framing the project. In J. Murphy and K. S . Louis (Eds . ) , Handbook of research on educational administration (2nd ed.) (pp . xxi-xxvii). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Murphy , K . R. , & Myors , B . (1998). Statistical power analysis: A simple and general model for traditional and modern hypothesis tests. Mahwah , NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates . National Association of Elementary School Principals. (2001 ) . Leading learning communities: Standards for what principals should know and be able to do . Alexandria , VA: Author . National Association of Elementary School Principals . (1997). Proficiencies for principals (3rd ed . ) . Alexandria, VA: Author. National Center for Education Statistics . (2001 ). Monitoring school quality : An indicators report (USDOE Publication No. NCES 2001-030) . Washington , DC: U . S . Government Printing Office. Norusis , M . J. (2002) . SPSS 11 . 0 guide to data analysis . Upper Saddle River , NJ : Prentice Hall. Pearlin , L. I. , & Schooler , C . (1978) . The structure of coping . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 19 , 2 21. Perkins-Gough , D. (2002) . Special report: Teacher quality [Review of A national priority : Americans speak on teacher quality]. Educationa l Leadership : 60 , 85-86 . Pines , A. , & Aronson , E . (1988) . Career burnout: Causes and cures . New York: The Free Press . Quick, J. C. , Quick , J. D. , Nelson , D. L. , & Hurrell , J . J . (1997) . Preventive stress management in Organizations . Washington , DC: American Psychological Association . Rose , L. C. , & Gallup , A. M . (2001). The 33 rd annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll of the public ' s attitudes toward the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan , 83 , 41-58 . Rose , L. C. , & Gallup , A. M . (2002). The 34 t h annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll of the public ' s attitudes toward the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan , 84 , 41-56 .

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242 Saffer , S . (1984 , April) . Stress and the educational researcher : A synthesis of dissertation research . Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association , New Orleans , LA . Scheier , M . F. , & Carver, C . S. (1993). On the power of positive thinking : The benefits of being optimistic . Current Directions in Psychological Science , 2 , 26-30 . Sells , S. B . (1970 ) . On the nature of stress . In McGrath , J . E. (Ed .), Social and psychological factors in stress (pp . 134 139). New York : Holt , Rinehart and Winston . Selye , H. (1974) . Stress without distress . Philadelphia: J . B . Lippincott . Singer , J. E ., & Davidson , L. M . (1984). Specificity and stress research . In M. H . Appley & R . Trumbull (Eds . ) , Dynamics of stress : Physiological , psychological , and social perspectives (pp . 47-61) . New York : Plenum Press . Starratt , R . J. ( 1995) . Leaders with vision : The quest for school renewal. Thousand Oaks , CA: Corwin Press . Swent , B . (1983) . How administrators cope with stress . Theory Into Practice , 22 , 70-74 . Wallen , N . E ., & Fraenkel , J. R. (2001). Educational research : A guide to the process (2nd ed . ) . Mahwah , NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates . Whan , L. D ., & Thomas , A. R. (1996). The principalship and stress in the workplace: An observational and physiological study . Journal of School Leadership , 6 , 444-465. Whitaker , K . S . (1995). Principal burnout: Implications for profess i onal development. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education , 9 , 287-296 .

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Constance A. Weber-Sorice was born on October 23 , 1956 , in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania. Her elementary school years were spent in Pittsburgh and Miami , Florida . While in junior high, Connie ' s family moved from Miami to Orlando . After graduation from high school in Orlando , Connie attended the University of Central Florida . She graduated summa cum laude in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education. Following graduation , Connie taught second grade in Orlando for th r ee years , beginning her studies in school psychology in 1979 . As a graduate student , Connie interned with Volusia County Schools. Her master ' s thesis studied the attention span of hearing impaired children in comparison to normal hearing students . Connie graduated summa cum laude in 1982 with her Master of Science in school psychology. After her internship and graduation , Connie remained with Volusia County Schools as a school psychologist. She received her Specialist in Education in school psychology from the University of Central Florida in 1989 . Connie continued her educational career at the University of Florida in 1997. During this time , Connie was appointed as the lead psychologist for Volusia County Schools. After earning her Specialist in Education in educational leadership in 1999 , Connie was elected to the society of Phi Kappa Ph i. She was admitted as a doctoral candidate i n 2000 . She has continued to work for Volusia 243

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244 County Schools and is currently in her fifth year as the lead psychologist for the district. Connie resides in New Smyrna Beach with her husband , Rocky , and two sons , Rocky Ill and Chad , ages 14 and 8 .

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholar l y presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Profess cational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate , in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Anne E. Seraphine, Cochair Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate , in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy . JasLDoud Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Thomas D. Oakland Professor of Educational Psychology

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. F~andiver Lecturer of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. December 2002 D Dean, Graduate School

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