Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Ronn Johnson, PhD, Chair; Robert Bacalski, PhD; William Howe III, PhD; Mariam True, EdD


Consideration and Initiating Structure, elementary schools, Leadership studies, leadership styles, mental health, principals, San Diego Unified School District (San Diego, CA), school administration, school-site conditions, Stress, teachers


The purpose of this study was to determine if principal leadership styles and school-site conditions were associated with elementary teachers' stress levels. The study focused on the relationship between the independent variables of principal leadership styles and school-site conditions and the dependent variables of teacher stress levels. A survey composed of the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) and a demographic information sheet was administered to 585 teachers from 28 elementary schools. Tins study was conducted in the San Diego Unified School District during the 1998–1999 school year. The LBDQ measured two dimensions of leadership: Consideration and Initiating Structure. Additionally, these two dimensions were investigated in tandem: High-Consideration, High-Initiating Structure (HC-HIS); High-Consideration, Low-Initiating Structure (HC-LIS); Low-Consideration, High-Initiating Structure (LC-HIS); and Low-Consideration, Low-Initiating Structure (LC-LIS). The level of teacher stress was determined by scores on the TSI in terms of sources of stress Crime Management, Work-Related Stressors, Professional Distress, Student Discipline & Motivation, and Professional Investment) and manifestations, of occupational stress (Emotional, Fatigue, Cardiovascular, Gastronomic, and Behavioral Manifestations). The TSI rendered ten subscale scores (as listed above in parentheses) and one Total Stress Score. Furthermore, school-site conditions were defined in terms of organizational factors that were common to all schools participating in the study and that could possibly have a relationship with teacher stress levels. The data were analyzed using a cross-sectional, correlation study design. Descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients and stepwise multiple regression were calculated by using SPSS. Stepwise multiple regression revealed that Consideration (Relationship-Oriented Leadership) was a stronger predictor of teacher sum levels Initiating Structure (Task-Oriented Leadership). More specifically, Relationship-Oriented Leadership explained more of the variance in teacher stress levels from the sources of Professional Investment and Professional Distress, both of which treated the area of job satisfaction. Furthermore, several school-site conditions were strong predictors of teacher stress levels from the sources of Student Discipline & Motivation, Time Management and Work-Related Stressors. All together, this study sought to offer additional insight into principal leadership styles, school-site conditions, and the relationship of both to teacher stress levels in a large urban school district.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access