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Single-Item Principal Stress and Coping Measures: Concurrent and Predictive Validity and Comparisons to Teacher Measures

NCJ Number
School Psychology Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Date Published

This study examines the use of single-item scales to assess principal stress and coping and compares the outcomes to those of teachers.


The present study analyzed concurrent and predictive validity of single-item scales for assessing principal stress and coping, examining concurrent and prospective relations among stress and coping single-items with principal job satisfaction, overall health, perceptions of school safety, and principal leadership self-efficacy. The study also compared principals and teachers on their stress and coping levels using the same single-item scales. This study suggests that single-item measures of stress and coping may be efficient and valid ways to measure and monitor principal stress and coping. Additionally, the study finds that principals report even higher levels of stress than the well-documented high levels reported by teachers. Consistent with the literature on teacher stress and coping, the correlations of principal coping with different outcomes–job satisfaction, overall health, leadership efficacy, and safety perceptions—were stronger in comparison to the correlations between principal stress and those same outcomes. In regression models with both stress and coping, only principal coping predicted concurrent and future principal job satisfaction and overall health, as well as change in those outcomes. Coping also predicted concurrent but not future perceptions of school safety. Stress and coping did not consistently predict concurrent or future measures of leadership self-efficacy. Last, the study found that principals reported even higher levels of stress than the well-documented high levels reported by teachers. The authors discuss areas for further research and potential use of these measures. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023