Stressors and stress coping strategies of UAE school leaders

Zeina Hojeij, Ali Ibrahim, Sandra Baroudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Through exploratory quantitative research, 120 school leaders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were found to have a moderate level of stress. School leaders have regularly sought social support and focused on the problem as strategies to cope with stress. There was no difference in the means of stress related to the leaders' gender, marital status, age, years of experience, or school size and level. However, interpersonal relations and administrative responsibilities made the largest contribution to the prediction of coping strategies. Considering the quick changes aimed at by the national educational reform, leaders found themselves unaware of their new job descriptions and expectations. Leaders struggled with a combination of little autonomy, limited resources, bureaucracy and intensification, and increased responsibilities. Selfefficacy and self-motivation indicated perseverance in managing stress. School leaders, especially during a reform, face the burden of role expectations and administrative constraints due to changing requirements from authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-360
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Management in Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • administrative stress index
  • coping strategies
  • school principals
  • stress at work
  • ways of coping checklist-revised

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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