Date of Award

Fall 10-28-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Phil Pendley, Ed. D.

Second Advisor

Alan Enomoto, Ed. D.

Third Advisor

Tami Boatright, Ed. D.


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify personal and professional factors that create stress for California female superintendents, describe the strategies used to manage stress, and provide recommendations for addressing stress from California female superintendents.

Methodology: A qualitative phenomenological methodology is used to seek the inner feelings and lived experiences of California female superintendents. This phenomenological study used in-depth interviews to gather qualitative data to address the RQs. Data gathered on stress related factors and stress management strategies were analyzed and discussed. In order to maintain validity and reliability and minimize internal and external threats, the researcher used qualitative inquiry processes. These processes included convenience sampling, interview questions aligned with the study’s purpose and research questions.

Findings: Major findings include personal and professional factors creating stress for California female superintendents, as well as stress management strategies used to minimize both personal and professional factors identified.

Conclusions: Numerous conclusions were drawn based on the major findings, and from these findings, a list of implications for action were generated. One implication for action is that school boards should provide coaches to help superintendents learn to balance work and life time structures, manage priorities, and manage personal and professional stressors, among other implications.

Recommendations: Recommendations for further research are described in Chapter V, including duplicating this study for various target audiences including male superintendents in order to compare the differences between women and men.