The physiological, psychological and work stress of primary school principals

Paul J. Thornton (Principal, Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School, Caldundra, Australia)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Publication date: 1 December 1996


Data from an ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM), structured close‐quarters observation, personal questionnaires, participant interviews and staff interviews to observe, describe and analyse the physiological, psychological and work stress of primary school principals. Looks at previous research which identified certain managerial tasks, as being more stressful than others. Finds that, while the physiological testing of principals in this study showed a wide range of blood pressure movement, the results differ somewhat from earlier research. Presents evidence to show that other factors are at work in influencing a principal’s stress levels apart from the managerial task. Posits that the intensity of the situation is dependent on more than the managerial task engaged in at the time.



Thornton, P. (1996), "The physiological, psychological and work stress of primary school principals", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 10 No. 6, pp. 42-55.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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