Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1999


This study was conducted among middle school principals in Virginia to determine their perceptions of job-related stress factors. The entire population of middle school principals (grades 6, 7, 8) was selected to participate in the study. The Administrative Stress Index was used to assess factors that cause principals stress on the job and to measure their stress levels. A demographic data form was used to collect data on the variables of age, gender, administrative experience, assistant principal support, student enrollment, adults supervised, percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch, location of school, type of school, experience as a middle school principal, and educational attainment to determine if any of these variables correlated with the principals' stress as measured by the Administrative Stress Index. The Administrative Stress Index contained five subscales of seven questions each, which were used to indicate the perceptions of stress factors among the middle school principals in the study. The responses to the questionnaires were analyzed and the following statistics were computed from the data: percentage distribution, content analysis, multiple linear regression, and descriptive statistics. The results of the study suggest that public middle school principals in Virginia are experiencing low to moderate levels of stress in their work and report that they are mainly stressed by administrative constraints such as increased workloads, excessive meetings, time constraints, and unrealistic policy demands. Analysis of multiple linear regression revealed that the culminating effect of the principals' demographic characteristics contributed no more than 27.7% to the prediction of the principals' level of job-related stress. Further research on stress could be conducted among elementary and high school principals and with principals of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This study indicates a need for increased awareness of the causes of stress experienced by middle school principals experience so that superintendents, school boards, staff, and community can help reduce these stressors.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted