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Browsing by Subject "Well-being at work"

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  • Virtasalo, Iiris (2022)
    Finnish principals experience high levels of stress in their work, which has raised a strong interest to identify factors that could support principal well-being. This study explores, first, the connection between principals’ perceived self-efficacy and physiological stress, and second, the changes in the stress and self-efficacy levels from 2019 to 2020. As earlier research has mostly focused on the self-reported stress and self-efficacy, this study raises further implications on the link between perceived self-efficacy and the physiological stress on school principals. The theoretical framework of the study is the social cognitive theory by Albert Bandura. Bandura suggests that the stress-protective role of self-efficacy should result in diminished physiological stress responses. Present study tests two hypothesis. According to the first hypothesis, principals with high self-efficacy are less stressed than principals with lower self-efficacy. According to the second hypothesis, the self-efficacy of the principals’ stays relatively stable from 2019 to 2020. Data of the study consists of questionnaire data and physiological measurements. The self efficacy levels of the participants were measured by using the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire-II. The physiological measurements were collected with mobile heart rate monitoring device Firstbeat BodyGuard 2. Altogether 30 principals participated the study in 2019 and 14 principals in 2020. In the study, statistical analysis was conducted with the SPSS Statistics programme. The data was analysed using the Pearson correlation, linear regression analysis and paired sample t-test. The study showed that the self-efficacy levels and physiological stress levels are statistically significantly connected. Consistent with the first hypothesis, principals with high self-efficacy are less stressed during office hours than principals with lower self-efficacy on both years. In addition, the connection between age and the stress levels and self-efficacy levels were studied. The analysis shows that principals with higher age had more physiological stress than their younger colleagues in 2019. However, in 2020, age was not connected to higher stress levels. The results indicate that the self-efficacy levels and age of the participants are not connected in both years. No evidence was found that the stress and self-efficacy levels of the Finnish principals would have changed from 2019 to 2020. This study contributes to a comprehensive understanding of self-efficacy and stress of Finnish principals, and these findings could support principals’ wellbeing and their commitment to work.