Relating leadership, thinking styles, self-concept, motivation and stress management in education
Frame, Robert James.
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Seventy-five principals and vice-.wincipals from public elementary and secondary schools in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada participated in this study. Participants provided ,information concerning their thinking styles, motivations, and the physical effects of stress. This information was examined to find out how satisfaction-oriented, and how security-oriented the thinking styles of the participants were. Second, the data were analysed to see how the thinking style orientations related to life style habits and the effects of stress. The satisfaction-oriented thinking styles scored higher than all of the security-oriented thinking styles by a wide margin with a small preference for the satisfaction-people-oriented styles labelled humanistic-helpful, and affiliative as opposed to the satisfaction-task-oriented styles labeled achievement, and self-actualizing. Although all eight of the security-oriented thinking styles scored well below all of the satisfaction-oriented thinking styles on the Life Styles Inventory, the perfectionistic style scored higher than all of the security-oriented styles by an impressive margin. The next highest scores were recorded by a cluster of three passive-defensive people-oriented thinking styles labeled approval, conventional, and dependent. The competitive style scored lower, and the styles labeled avoidance, oppositional, and power scored the lowest of all the defensive-security-oriented styles. These findings suggest that principals and vice-principals see themselves as relaxed, flexible, and satisfied with their ability to adapt to the stress levels they experience in their lives; however, there was some support for medical research findings that suggest that specific security-oriented thinking styles are associated with emotional stresses that contribute to the development of specific lifestyle habits, physical symptoms, and illnesses. Although the number of females in this study provides very limited generalizability, the findings of this study suggest that high achieving females tend to develop satisfaction-growth styles to a higher level than males, and they tend to use security-oriented styles to a lesser degree than males.