Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2004

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Hal Knight

Committee Members

Russell F. West, Terrence A. Tollefson, Thomas E. Coates

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the variety and level of wellness practices of community college presidents and the relationship of these practices to the stress levels of this group. Additionally, relaxation activities and the feelings, characteristics, and symptoms associated with stress were considered. Items measuring each of these variables, isolated from the literature and tested in a pilot sample, were combined into an electronic instrument, Stress Levels and Wellness Practices Measurement for Community College Presidents.

The design of the study was ex post facto/correlational. The population of the study was American community college presidents. A stratified random sampling of these presidents was drawn from three distinct locales: 240 urban, 147 suburban, and 199 rural community colleges. The electronic instrument was distributed to 587 presidents through email. There were 296 (50.4%) usable returns.

For the variables of interest, descriptive statistics were computed including frequencies and measures of central tendency. Correlation coefficients were used to determine relationships between variables. ANOVA and t-tests were used to identify differences in group means.

Significant positive associations were found between the management of stress and the balance of wellness practices for community college presidents. A significant difference in stress levels regarding gender and years of presidential tenure were found: female presidents were more stressed than their male counterparts, and presidents with more experience (years' presidential tenure) were less stressed. No difference was found in the stress levels of presidents by locale (urban, suburban, and rural). Furthermore, it was determined there was a significant negative correlation between the balance in wellness practices and stress symptoms. Engagement in the physical practices of wellness was related to a reduction of stress levels. Overall, it was concluded that while presidents showed significant control in stressful events and issues, continued efforts are needed to promote wellness practices into their busy lives.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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