A1 Journal article (refereed)
Work-related stress of elementary school principals in Finland : Coping strategies and support (2023)

Elomaa, M., Eskelä-Haapanen, S., Pakarinen, E., Halttunen, L., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2023). Work-related stress of elementary school principals in Finland : Coping strategies and support. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 51(4), 868-888. https://doi.org/10.1177/17411432211010317

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsElomaa, Mailis; Eskelä-Haapanen, Sirpa; Pakarinen, Eija; Halttunen, Leena; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina

Journal or seriesEducational Management Administration and Leadership



Publication year2023

Publication date03/05/2021


Issue number4

Pages range868-888

PublisherSAGE Publications

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75402


The present study aimed to investigate elementary school principals’ self-reported causes of work-related stress, their coping strategies to deal with stress and the support they need for their leadership. Seventy-six principals filled in the questionnaire, which included open-ended questions. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. The results showed that the main sources of stress were workload, interpersonal conflicts, a lack of resources and internal pressures. Moreover, principals used emotion-focused, problem-focused and social coping to deal with stress. Additionally, principals reported a need for problem-focused support and social support for their leadership. The results revealed the importance of social support and coping for principals’ occupational wellbeing. A more intimate approach to principals’ perceptions about the causes of occupational stress, their coping strategies and the support they need provides opportunities to consider diverse personal requirements, which may be fundamental in promoting principals’ occupational wellbeing.

Keywordsheadmasterswell-being at workmental well-beingwork burdenstress (biological phenomena)stress managementmanagingsocial supportmanagerial work

Free keywordseducational leaders; principals; occupational stress; coping strategies; support

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 20:16