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Available literature and experience point to the fact that principals of the present Nigerian Secondary Schools work in stressful environment. Principals find themselves battling with many problems like staff and students’ indiscipline, poor conditions of service, complex load and inadequate fund to maintain equipment. It was therefore the intention of the researcher to empirically establish the prevalence of stress as a factor of principals’ administrative effectiveness in Delta State. Four research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. A 35-item questionnaire was developed and administered to 278 male and female secondary school principals in Delta State. Means were used to answer the research questions while the 1-test statistic was used to test the two null hypotheses formulated for the study. It was the opinions of the principals that the factors that constitute stress to them include personallorganizational demand, family versus organizational demand, role overload, role ambiguity, role conflict, under promotion, large school population, inadequate funds and students’ indiscipline. The principals agreed that internally generated sources were the major sources that predispose stressful situations. They indicated that the impact of stress on their personal work life include poor financial position of their schools, uncooperative staff, over centralization of authority, large population, decline in communication and high absenteeism of staff and students. The principals agreed that the ways in which principals cope with stress in the discharge of their duties include doing physical exercises to reduce stress, specification of job roles, interacting with people during break, adopting positive attitude towards some problems and being prudent in financial management.


Background of the Study

It is a clear fact that for a proper and effective functioning of a given Organization, human and material agents therein are to be well  oordinated. In the secondary school system, tf-te executive head is the principal. So it is commonly argued that efficiency with which the secondary school education system is to be operated depends to a large extent on the  Effectiveness of the principal, that is, on how well he or she coordinates the human and material resources in his school. So an important Factor to this research is the issue about principal’s effective performance. Most times, principals have been held responsible for the effectiveness of their duties and their students’ success and failure.

Undoubtedly, the way a person performs his or her job, in every Organization including educational establishments is in part determined by the kind of person he is, and in part by the organizational setting or environmental influence. No matter the make up of the organization, the job of the administrator is to carefully coordinator the large number of human actions and resources to achieve the goals of the Organization, and creating a peaceful tool, set of norms and at the same time, Continually evaluating how welt the organizational members are performing their duties, does this. It is on this premise that Designate and

Ogunsaju (198481) observed, that administrative effectiveness of the school principal can be evaluated based on the level of discipline of the school and on the academic attainments of the students. Actually, in secondary school administration, the principal is the coordinator of various activities directed towards the realization of the educational goals. And these duties per se entail a multiplicity of functions that are energy sapping, and time consuming. The duties of the principal attract public criticisms and confrontations, which in turn cause work stress.

The question at this juncture is: What is stress? Stress can be seen as a feeling, which occurs when, and individual’s working or living conditions or circumstances make demands beyond his capacity to handle such a situation physically or motionatty. Again, stress may be expressed in the form of physical or mental disturbance, strain, obstacles in the path of achieving goals, conflicting demands, uncertain role prescriptions, taxing work conditions, among others (Oboegbulern, 1995).

Actually, principals are faced with multiple functions. They are constantly confronted with planned and unplanned events that occupy their available time. Visitors (friends, and relations, students, parents), staff and P.T.A. meetings attending to ncoming correspondence, contractors, teachers and students’ problems, Ministry and Board offtcen occupy the whole day. All these suggest that the principal is working under great pressure. Based on this, one is moved to think that principals are stressed up, since stress according to Ezekiel (1986:22) is being in a pressure situation, having an upright feelings, being nervous, feeling frustrated, having feeling of tension or being or being in conflict situation. Additionally, Yellowe (9I 8W2)a ccepts the following as other symptoms of stress; anxiety, state of excessive tiredness, fatigue, and general weakness, impaired sleep, irritability, moodiness, unhappiness, tension, baseless, fear, palpitation and diminished output of work, nervousness, difficulty in concentration, sexual malfunctioning, aches and pains, heaviness in the head and back of the neck and head-aches not usually relieved by common pain killers, hypertension, asthma and peptic ulcer etc.

It then means that stress is bound to occur when one’s physical or emotional capabilities and resources cannot adequately meet one’s physiological or environmental demands. The environment here may include even one’s social class or group. It is therefore assumed that where such environmental demands or expectations are not met, the end result is usually stress. Nonetheless, it should be noted that it is one’s perception of such demands, rather than the demands themselves, that determines the degree of stress so experienced.

It has been observed by the public that the standard of education has dropped, despite the big allocation given to it by the government.

This allegation on the falling standard of education has persistently been NECO or even in ordinary promotion examinations coupled with mass movement of teachers to other fields of human endeavour.

Really, the school organization is made up of different individuals with different needs and expectations. These different people have different interests, values, needs and attitudes, which may be to the detriment to the organizational objectives. The achievement of the school organizational goals thereby depends on the ability and capability of the school administrator (principal) in coordinating, evaluating and creating a cordial and conducive environment for every worker to put in the best in order to enhance the tone of the school as well as the out.

The good achievement in the school setting entails achieving hi Academic performance of students, good discipline, good conduct, good administrative atmosphere on the part of teachers and students alike, and students’ development of practical skills.

In view of the above therefore, the executive head (principal) will be faced with some tension, and may then experience a very high pressure. The school organization is made up of individuals with different interests and activities or services. This includes human resources like the principal, the staff (teaching and non-teaching) and the students. Apparently, these individuals work together and in harmony with the community and the Ministry of Education, to achieve the organizational objectives.

In view of this, the principal being the head of the administration, must work tirelessly to inculcate discipline and to effectively manage both human and material resoumes of his school. In order to achieve the organizational goals, the principal will surely pass through some favourable and undavourable situations that may induce pressure or stress, which is the main subject of this study.

Therefore, there is need to cany out a research such as this, in order to provide the necessary information that will be useful to principals to identify and cope with pressure situations, they will experience in the course of carrying out their rganizational functions.


Statement of the Problem

Available literatute and experience point to the fact that the principals of the present Nigerian secondary schools work in stressful environment. The society, which has failed to give its children good home, training, expects such over night in secondary schools. Teachers who are to help in training them are chased about before they do their duties. Principals find themselves battling with many problems like staff and student indiscipline, poor condition of service, complex load, and

inadequate fund to maintain equipment.

It is therefore, the intention of the researcher to empirically establish the prevalence of stress as a factor in the principal’s administrative effectiveness, investigate what part stress plays in the  ffectiveness of principals in Delta State and to find how to cope with such situation.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is:

  1. To provide evidence that principals experience stress in the discharge of their duties.
  2. To find out the relationship between stress and principal’s administrative Mectiveness.
  3. To find the method that can be adopted by the principals to cope with stress related problems in the office.
  4. To investigate the source of the stress.

Significance of the Study

Everybody experiences stress or pressure at one time or the other in life, but the degree differs from one person to another. In view of this, it has been a source of concern in the field of medicine and psychology.

Recently, it has been observed by researchers and also experiences have proved that most principals in trying to discharge their duties are seriously disturbed by stress, which equally affect their job performance. This as a matter of fact has been a great concern to educationists.

From the above background, therefore, the study will help in identifying how principals’ administrative effectiveness stimulates stress or pressure and hereby influences their job performance.

The result of the study would assist to establish whether there is any relationship between stress and administrative effectiveness.

The result of the study would equally create awareness among principals on the dangers of dwelling on stressful Situations.

It will also enable the principals to see the need to report to experts (Doctors and Guidance Counselors) who teach them how to manage their high level of stress.

The result of the study would obviously contribute to the mental health of the principals.

It is also expected that the findings of this study would benefit the general readers and again provide necessary information for further research work.

To crown it all, the researcher will be making a contribution to knowledge, as well as helping the government and Moore researchers to take a well-informed decision in all stress related problems.

Scope of the Study

The study was restricted to the principals and teachers of State owned secondary schools. It concentrate on eight (8) Local Governmen? Areas, which have (50) secondary schools. The study focused on the sources and the impact of songstress on the secondary school principals’ administration. The study was particularly limited to the principals in this named area.

Research Questions

V\rha;t are the stress areas in ihe principal’s administration of school?

What is the impact of the principals’ years of experience in the management of stress in administration?

How does the School Management Board pose a problem of stress to principals?

To what extent does the sex of the principal affect the management of stress situations in school administration?

To what extent does the attitude of mmunitics and staff induce stress to the principals?


The following null hypotheses were tested.

1 There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female principals in Defta Sate with regard to the impact of stress on the personal work life of secondary school principals.

  1. There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of male and female principals with regard to the management of stress in the discharge of their duties.




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