ERIC Number: ED218709
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
On Discipline: The Products and Process.
Executive Review, v2 n7 Apr 1982
One explanation for unexpectedly low stress levels among assistant principals may lie in "administrative attribution theory." The demand for school discipline by the public, school boards, teachers, and students should induce high levels of stress in assistant principals, because they are usually responsible for discipline enforcement, but a recent study found that the assistant principalship was not stress-inducing. Administrative attribution theory proposes that administrators assign causality to events based on the perceived intent or motivation of the persons involved. Assistant principals' opportunity to assign intent to misbehaving students may reduce the stress they might otherwise feel. A survey of 24 assistant principals tested whether, in six hypothetical disciplinary cases, they would vary the severity of the punishment according to the motivations they attributed to the perpetrators. The results showed the assistant principals punished most severely those students to whom they attributed motivations of self-gain. These results indicate the assistant principal is psychologically free in enforcing discipline. This psychological freedom is stress-reducing and thus may help explain why assistant principals experience low levels of stress. (RW)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Behavior Problems, Discipline, Discipline Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Principals, Punishment, Stress Variables, Student Behavior, Student Motivation
Editor, The Executive Review, Institute for School Executives, The University of Iowa, 210 Lindquist Center, Iowa City, IA 52242 ($1.00).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Iowa Univ., Iowa City. Inst. for School Executives.
Identifiers: Administrative Attribution Theory; Self Gain