Stress and Faith: An Inversely Proportional Relationship?

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This article was originally published as:

Shields, M. (2010). Stress and Faith: An Inversely Proportional Relationship?. Journal of Christian Education, 53(3), 29-44.

ISBN: 0021-9657


130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership


This research study investigated stress and coping amongst the principals of a small, national, Christian, independent school system. Using an approach combining questionnaires and in-depth interviews, school principals' stressors and their reactions to these stressors were examined. The study also explored the coping strategies they used to reduce or manage their stress.

Forty seven principals participated in the study and 23 nominated for in-depth interviews. This paper focuses on a small group of eight (17%) who emerged from the data by indicating a very low stress level combined with a very high level of job-satisfaction. This group's practices, beliefs and values together with their perceptions about their low stress levels coupled with high satisfaction levels were examined initially through survey and then discussed in depth through extensive phone interviews with the individual participants. This small group attributed their low stress levels to their Christian faith and perspectives which they incorporated into their daily professional lives.


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