ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS: AN APPLICATION OF THE PERSON-ENVIRONMENT (P-E) FIT THEORY

KENNETH FRANK GRAY, Fordham University

Abstract

Stress is neither a characteristic of the environment nor the individual, but it is the outcome of the interaction of the two. This study takes this as a basic assumption and applies it to school administrators from Orange, Rockland, and Westchester Counties of New York State. Two-hundred-and-fourteen (71%) principals and superintendents submitted valid responses to a questionnaire based on potential job and individual stressors.^ This study investigates the major sources of administrative stress and the consequences of these stressors on the individual. Then a stress reduction model is developed and presented.^ An instrument measuring job stress is developed and refined. Instruments measuring the variables of anxiety, personality Type A, job satisfaction, and selected demographic and contextual variables are utilized.^ The results of bivariate and multivariate analysis reveals the following: Factor analysis indicates that the main factors of administrative stress, in order of perceived stressfulness, are (1) Administrative Constraints, (2) Organizational Structure and Climate, (3) Relationships at Work, (4) Role Expectations, and (5) Career Development. The top stressors (items) are (1) making decisions that affect the lives of people that I know, (2) resolving interpersonal conflicts, (3) gaining public approval and financial support for programs, (4) completing reports and paper work on time, and (5) complying with state, federal and organizational rules and policies, respectively.^ Bivariate analysis confirms the relationships between job stress and the main variables of anxiety (r = .41, p < .01) and job satisfaction (r = -.42, p < .01). There is no relationship between the total job stress score and personality Type A, but the Role Expectation factor is related to this variable (r = .141, p < .05).^ Statistically significant associations at the .05 level are revealed between job stress and the demographic and contextual variables of age, hours worked, experience, sick days, district and school size. Multiple regression analysis reveals that job satisfaction, anxiety, sick days, and age are the best predictors of job stress, when all of the P-E variables are pooled.^ Administrators suggest that the following methods are useful in handling the tensions and pressures of their jobs: Physiological activities (suggested by 60%), cognitive activities (35%), and acquisition of interpersonal and management skills (less than 5%). ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

GRAY, KENNETH FRANK, "ADMINISTRATIVE STRESS: AN APPLICATION OF THE PERSON-ENVIRONMENT (P-E) FIT THEORY" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8308473.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8308473

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