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Nikoletta Theodorou, Sarah Johnsen, Beth Watts and Adam Burley
This study aims to examine the emotional and cognitive responses of frontline homelessness service support staff to the highly insecure attachment styles (AS) exhibited by…
This study aims to examine the emotional and cognitive responses of frontline homelessness service support staff to the highly insecure attachment styles (AS) exhibited by people experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness (MEH), that is, a combination of homelessness and other forms of deep social exclusion.
Focus groups were conducted with frontline staff (N = 19) in four homelessness support services in Scotland. Hypothetical case vignettes depicting four insecure AS (enmeshed, fearful, withdrawn and angry-dismissive) were used to facilitate discussions. Data is analysed thematically.
Service users with AS characterised by high anxiety (enmeshed or fearful) often evoked feelings of compassion in staff. Their openness to accepting help led to more effective interactions between staff and service users. However, the high ambivalence and at times overdependence associated with these AS placed staff at risk of study-related stress and exhaustion. Avoidant service users (withdrawn or angry-dismissive) evoked feelings of frustration in staff. Their high need for self-reliance and defensive attitudes were experienced as hostile and dismissing. This often led to job dissatisfaction and acted as a barrier to staff engagement, leaving this group more likely to “fall through the net” of support.
Existing literature describes challenges that support staff encounter when attempting to engage with people experiencing MEH, but provides little insight into the causes or consequences of “difficult” interactions. This study suggests that an attachment-informed approach to care can promote more constructive engagement between staff and service users in the homelessness sector.
Nikoletta Taliadorou and Petros Pashiardis
The purpose of this paper is to examine whether emotional intelligence and political skill (PS) of school principals influence the way they exercise leadership and the job…
The purpose of this paper is to examine whether emotional intelligence and political skill (PS) of school principals influence the way they exercise leadership and the job satisfaction of their teachers.
As regards to the methodology, quantitative research methods were used to conduct the research. Specifically, the data analysis was performed with the statistical program SPSS and the EQS program for the development of structural equation models. Participants were 182 principals of Cyprus public elementary schools and 910 teachers.
The findings indicated that the emotional intelligence and PS of school principals are related to the educational leadership styles they use and to teachers’ job satisfaction. Such a relationship highlights the social skills of principals as an important area for further research.
Future research may benefit from developing and validating an investigating tool which rates school principals’ Emotional-Political Capacity because, as revealed from the current research, this new construct directly affects the leadership radius and teachers’ job satisfaction.
This research provides important feedback to those organizations interested in educational leadership and reform, as it can further illuminate (unknown until now) qualities that an effective school principal must have.
The importance of this research and its contribution to science, is illustrated by the fact that this is one of the first research efforts undertaken, which indicates that the emotional and political skills may be factors that shape effective educational leadership styles.