Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Devon Carson



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Larry McNeal

Committee Member

Linda Wesson

Committee Member

Renee' Sanders-Lawson

Committee Member

Jeffery Wilson


The purpose of the study was to examine the sources of stress and the coping preferences of elementary school principals in North Carolina. Secondary analysis addressed demographic differences and any relationships between stress and coping preferences.Data were collected through the survey research method and was primarily descriptive and correlational. A questionnaire was emailed to 500 participants randomly selected for this research, 222 responded. The first section of questions consisted of the Administrative Stress Index (ASI), which comprised 35 stressors principals confront in their work.The second set of questions included the Roesch Coping Preference Scale (RCPS), consisting of 21 statements to obtain coping preferences of administrators.The final section of the questionnaire consisted of nine questions designed by the researcher to obtain necessary demographic information.The respondents of the ASI reported a mean score of 93.01.The findings suggest that elementary school principals of North Carolina were moderately stressed in their jobs. The data indicated that principals preferred on the RCPS extra-work activities, consulting techniques, and time out activities.In conclusion, principals must be aware of the factors that cause stress, focus on effective coping strategies, and engage in activities that reduce stress.The key findings from these data show: (1) elementary school principals convey that they are stressed; (2) the top four stressors are: too heavy of a work load; feeling that meetings take up too much time; and failing to complete reports or other paperwork on time;and daily interruptions from staff members; (3) there are no significant differences between the variables of age, years in education,level of education, and school location when compared to principals' mean stress indexes and coping preferences;(4) principals relied upon taking work home, working on weekends, and collaborating with colleagues to discuss concerns were used tocope and effectively reduce stress; (5) according to the data, Title I principals reported to be more stressed thannon-Title I principals; and (6) there are no significant differences among new and veteran elementary principals' mean stress indexes.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.