ERIC Number: EJ869336
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Reference Count: 28
Special Education Administrators: Who and What Helps Buffer Job-Related Stress?
Wheeler, Deborah S.; LaRocco, Diana J.
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v22 n2 p85-92 Sep 2009
The purpose of this study was to describe special education administrators' reports of the social supports (House, 1981) that ameliorate the stress inherent in their professional role. This study used a mixed methods design and was conducted in two sequential phases involving 153 special education administrators in a northeastern state. During Phase 1, quantitative data were collected via a mailed questionnaire. Phase 2 consisted of in-person interviews with a subsample of volunteers from the survey respondents. Survey respondents and interviewees indicated that job-related stress was a common occurrence in their professional role. They reported that occupational stress emanated from several factors known to be associated with school administrators' stress and burnout. The data also revealed that respondents overwhelmingly selected professional colleagues as the people who provided support when things got tough at work. Concerning the types and providers of social support that buffered their job-related stress, survey respondents indicated that colleagues most often provided emotional and informational support, and that work supervisors most often provided instrumental and appraisal support. The findings from this study underscore the fact that more than any other time in the history of American public education, the pace and sheer volume of the demands put on special education administrators are bringing to bear unprecedented job-related stress. (Contains 8 tables.)
Descriptors: Special Education, Public Education, Administrator Role, Social Support Groups, Work Environment, Questionnaires, Interviews, Stress Variables, Peer Influence, Stress Management, Coping, Federal Legislation, Needs Assessment, Emotional Response, Conflict Resolution, Feedback (Response)
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site: http://www.casecec.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001