Job-related stress, social support and burnout in Hong Kong kindergarten principals

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Abstract

The literature on stress and coping suggests that job-related stress can adversely affect not just emotions and job performance, but also psychological well-being. The primary objectives of this study were (a) to document the extent of stress that kindergarten principals in Hong Kong experience in their work, and (b) to assess the degree to which job-related stress is related to the negative syndrome of burnout. The literature on social support indicates that support contributes to well-being, and can moderate the negative effects of stress on well-being. There is also indication that different types of support from different sources are differentially effective. A secondary objective of this study was thus to examine the extent to which informational and emotional support from family, close friend, and supervisor can reduce the adverse effects of job-related stress on burnout in the kindergarten principals. A random sample of 185 kindergarten principals in Hong Kong responded to a questionnaire containing the variables of job-related stress, emotional and informational support from one's family, emotional and informational support from one's close friend, emotional and informational support from one's supervisor, and burnout. The results showed that the principals experienced a moderate degree of job stress, with maintaining a steady student intake being the most stressful, and also a moderate degree of burnout. Job stress was also found to be significantly related to burnout. The results further showed that emotional support from one's family, and informational and emotional support from one's close friend moderated the negative impacts of job stress on burnout. Unlike what is documented in the literature, support from one's supervisor was not found to reduce the effects of job stress. Interpretations of the results are offered, along with implications and suggestions for practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

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burnout
kindergarten
social support
Hong Kong
well-being
job performance
random sample
indication
coping
emotion
interpretation
questionnaire

Citation

Wong, K. S. T., & Cheuk, W. H. (1999, November). Job-related stress, social support and burnout in Hong Kong kindergarten principals. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 16th Annual Conference: Exploring New Frontiers in Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.