A1 Journal article (refereed)
Work-related stress of elementary school principals in Finland : Coping strategies and support (2021)

Elomaa, M., Eskelä-Haapanen, S., Pakarinen, E., Halttunen, L., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2021). Work-related stress of elementary school principals in Finland : Coping strategies and support. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, OnlineFirst. https://doi.org/10.1177/17411432211010317

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

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

Journal or series: Educational Management Administration and Leadership

ISSN: 1741-1432

eISSN: 1741-1440

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 03/05/2021

Volume: OnlineFirst

Publisher: SAGE Publications

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/17411432211010317

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially 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.

Keywords: headmasters; well-being at work; mental well-being; work burden; stress (biological phenomena); stress management; managing; social support; managerial work

Free keywords: educational leaders; principals; occupational stress; coping strategies; support

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:22