Date of Graduation
This study examined the extent of the relationship between the separate constructs of role conflict (RC) and role ambiguity (RA) with four dimensions of stress. A sampling of special education administrators from the Appalachian states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia participated. Demographic characteristics were combined with RC or RA's relationship to four dimensions of stress to determine if a predictive pattern could be identified. A return rate of 80% was attained from the 114 randomly selected participants. Role variables were examined with the Role Questionnaire (Rizzo, House, & Lirtzman, 1970). The Administrative Stress Index (ASI) (Gmelch & Torelli, 1994; Koch, Gmelch, Tung, & Swent, 1982) provided data concerning the dimensions of stress. A Demographic Background Questionnaire gathered (a) personal factors, (b) professional qualifications, (c) work conditions, and (d) the intent to leave or stay the current position. A profile of the typical special education administrators emerged as a 48-year-old female who had an average of 16 years experience in teaching and 11 years experience as an administrator. In addition, she held a Masters Degree which addressed special education. She reported directly to the superintendent, was responsible for one or more programs, supervised and evaluated personnel, and was employed by a small local educational agency (LEA). She indicated no intentions to leave the position within the following year and planned to continue until normal retirement. Correlation analysis indicated a significant relationship at the probability level of 0.01 between RC and RA with each dimension of stress. Ancillary data indicated that correlations differed among states as well as between variables. Regression techniques identified predictor variables for the varying dimensions of stress as (a) RC or RA, (b) the number of years experience as an administrator, (c) three work conditions: size of the LEA, position of the immediate supervisor, and one or more additional responsibilities, and (d) the intent to retire or change positions. The use of RC and RA as separate constructs in research was supported by the findings. Recommendations were made for training, organizational design strategies, and future research to provide educational agencies with strategies to support the special education administrator.
Kohner, Pamela Kay, "Appalachian special education administrators: The extent of the relationship of role conflict and role ambiguity to specific dimensions of stress." (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9212.