This research study investigated how principals in a national, Christian independent school system cope with stress. Using a double-phased, mixed-methods approach combining questionnaires and in-depth interviews, school principals’ stressors and their reactions to these stressors were examined. Coping strategies used by principals to reduce or manage their stress were also explored. Forty-seven principals participated in the study and of these, 23 indicated a serious level of stress. The study highlighted a preference for using stress managers (a secondary approach), rather than stress reducers (a primary approach). Specific grouping of stressors into ten clusters suggested particular areas to be targeted for professional development and systemic reform.

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