Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Marty Martinez

First Committee Member

Laura Hallberg

Second Committee Member

Amy Peterman


Guided by family/work border theory, this phenomenological study explored the effects of stress while attempting to balance work and home through the lens of six high school female principals from the Central and Northern parts of California. This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach to examine the effects stress had on the physical and mental health of participants. Phenomenological interviews provided a rich description of the lived experiences of female high school principals. A thorough analysis of data exposed six distinct themes: (a) work became the priority, (b) coping mechanisms, (c) implications of being a woman, (d) lonely at the top, (e) blurred boundaries, and (f) the need for more support. Study participants’ experiences provide insight into the primary sources of stress, how stress affected their physical and mental health, the effect their stress had on their home domain, and how participants coped with the stress. Findings from this study address ways stress can be minimized to better balance work and home.





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