LONELINESS AND OCCUPATIONAL STRESS IN NEW ZEALAND PRIMARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS
Cubitt, S. and Burt, C., University of Canterbury, New Zealand
This study examined the relationships between loneliness, leadership style and stress in a sample of 293 New Zealand primary school principals, which represented a response rate of 58 percent. The majority of principals were categorised as experiencing moderate to high levels of emotional exhaustion as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The data from the present study suggests that teaching, non-teaching and sole-charge principals were experiencing corresponding stress levels. Loneliness, as measured by the UCLA Loneliness Scale was a significant predictor of self-reported stress, emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Loneliness scores were found to vary significantly between teaching and sole-charge principals with the former reporting higher levels of loneliness. Leadership style was measured using the T-P Leadership Questionnaire which showed that task-oriented leaders rated organisational change, and dealing with staff as more stressful than people-oriented leaders. Regression analysis indicated that loneliness and work overload were the most significant predictors of occupational stress in primary school principals.