Abstract Strike - An Investigation of Leadership Practices and Job-Related Stressors of Selected Texas 5A High School Principals

An Investigation of Leadership Practices and Job-Related Stressors of Selected Texas 5A High School Principals

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TITLE: An Investigation of Leadership Practices and Job-Related Stressors of Selected Texas 5A High School Principals
 
RESEARCHER: Lowell H. Strike
School of Education
Texas A&M University
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: May 2004

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this research was to investigate the leadership practices and behaviors of 5A high school principals in Texas, as well as identifying stressors of those leadership positions as perceived by principals.

METHODOLOGY
The population consisted of building principals from the 5A high schools located in Texas (N = 225) and 119 of them participated (53% response rate). In addition to completing the Leadership Practices Inventory, participants completed a Stressor Questionnaire (task and relationship dimensions) developed by the author. The typical respondent was male (69%). Fifty-three percent of the schools were identified as serving economically disadvantaged populations. Using the Texas Education Agency’s Academic Excellence Indicator system 50 percent of the schools were “recognized,” while 33 percent were “acceptable,” sixteen percent were “exemplary,” and only one was “low performing.” Seventy-seven percent of the respondents indicated that they had not received from their district any staff development or programs in the area of stress, and 48 percent felt that their health had been affected by job-related stress (35% said they health was unaffected and 17% were unsure).

KEY FINDINGS
No significant differences on the basis of gender were found for the leadership practices of Modeling and Enabling. Female principals reported greater frequency for the leadership practices of Inspiring, Challenging and Encouraging.

The researcher recommends: “Principals need to investigate their own level of the leadership practices and behaviors identified by Kouzes and Posner (2002) and then seek ways to strengthen those areas that would ensure personal growth” (p. 120).

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