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Directors' stress in day care centers: related factors and coping strategies

Directors' stress in day care centers: related factors and coping strategies This study aims to explore what causes stress to day care center directors and what their coping strategies are. In addition, the study examined the extent to which directors experience work-related stress and burnout, and the factors associated with their work-related stress, engagement and recovery from work.Design/methodology/approachA mixed method approach was used.FindingsThe results showed that the main sources of directors' stress were connected to leading oneself, leading others, managing change and lack of social support. Moreover, the main coping strategies with stress were leading oneself, social support and leading others. In addition, both pre- and in-service leadership training played a significant role in the experience of stress. The nature of factors causing stress and coping strategies with stress may imply that directors need further support in self-management and developing their internal competences.Research limitations/implicationsThe present study has limitations that need to be considered when making generalizations. First, a small sample size limits the generalization of the findings. Second, the study relied solely on one source of information, i.e. directors' self-reports. Third, data were collected only at one time point at the end of the year when stress levels might have accumulated. Finally, the study has been done in the Finnish educational context where day care center directors' job description varies depending on municipality.Practical implicationsThe findings provide important information about the causes of directors' work-related stress as well as their coping strategies and about factors that might be related to those.Social implicationsBecause directors' stress impact on children’s development and well-being through teachers' well-being, it is crucial to pay attention on directors' well-being and provide more support for them.Originality/valueThe current study is among the few ones focusing on the stress of directors at early childhood education (ECE) settings. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Educational Management Emerald Publishing

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References (28)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0951-354X
DOI
10.1108/ijem-10-2019-0383
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to explore what causes stress to day care center directors and what their coping strategies are. In addition, the study examined the extent to which directors experience work-related stress and burnout, and the factors associated with their work-related stress, engagement and recovery from work.Design/methodology/approachA mixed method approach was used.FindingsThe results showed that the main sources of directors' stress were connected to leading oneself, leading others, managing change and lack of social support. Moreover, the main coping strategies with stress were leading oneself, social support and leading others. In addition, both pre- and in-service leadership training played a significant role in the experience of stress. The nature of factors causing stress and coping strategies with stress may imply that directors need further support in self-management and developing their internal competences.Research limitations/implicationsThe present study has limitations that need to be considered when making generalizations. First, a small sample size limits the generalization of the findings. Second, the study relied solely on one source of information, i.e. directors' self-reports. Third, data were collected only at one time point at the end of the year when stress levels might have accumulated. Finally, the study has been done in the Finnish educational context where day care center directors' job description varies depending on municipality.Practical implicationsThe findings provide important information about the causes of directors' work-related stress as well as their coping strategies and about factors that might be related to those.Social implicationsBecause directors' stress impact on children’s development and well-being through teachers' well-being, it is crucial to pay attention on directors' well-being and provide more support for them.Originality/valueThe current study is among the few ones focusing on the stress of directors at early childhood education (ECE) settings.

Journal

International Journal of Educational ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 8, 2020

Keywords: Day care center director; Educational leadership; Occupational stress; Coping strategies; Early childhood education

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