Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ed.D.

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Darlene Y. Bruner

Keywords

accountability, authentic leadership, CD-RISC, management, protective factors, resilient

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate characteristics associated with resilient school leaders. Principals juggle multiple responsibilities and work under increasingly stressful conditions. Despite recent role changes, added job responsibilities, and increased accountability, some principals remain remarkably resilient while working in a tumultuous environment. Using Henderson and Milstein's (2003) definition, principal resiliency was described as "the capacity to spring back, rebound, successfully adapt in the face of adversity, and develop social, academic, and vocational competence despite exposure to severe stress or simply to the stress that is inherent in today's world" (p. 7). This empirical study tested the theory that principals with higher levels of job satisfaction and work commitment would also likely have higher levels of resilience. This study also investigated whether years of experience, school location, school poverty rate, school level, principal salary, and student enrollment shared a significant relationship with principal resilience.

This study used a questionnaire to measure participants' levels of resiliency, job satisfaction, and work commitment. The survey consisted of three research-based, established psychometric tools: 1) the abbreviated Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 10) (Connor & Davidson, 2003); 2) Brayfield-Rothe Job Satisfaction Index (JSI) (Brayfield & Rothe, 1951); and 3) Three-Component Model (TCM) of commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991).

An analysis of 627 surveys completed by public school principals from the state of Florida revealed that years of experience, school location, school poverty rate, school level, principal salary, and student enrollment shared no significant relationship with principal resilience. However, results from this empirical study indicated that there was a significant relationship between job satisfaction and resiliency for principals as well as a significant relationship between affective work commitment and resiliency.

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