Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2007


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Gibbs Y. Kanyongo

Committee Member

Alexandra Gregory

Committee Member

Helen C. Sobehart


chaos theory, coping, gender, leadership, spirituality, stress


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between spirituality and the ability to cope as an educational leader. The role gender plays was also analyzed to determine if there were any differences in the ability to cope as an educational leader founded on gender. The sample for this study consisted of 65 executive leaders from the public educational sector ranging in age from 32 to 64 years of age. The sample was composed of a mix of women and men, the majority of participants Caucasian. The participants selected were college graduates with at least 12 years of experience in education. Participants were given surveys to complete on work conflict, life satisfaction and spiritual well-being. The three instruments were the Interpersonal Conflict at Work Scale (ICAWS), the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), and the Spiritual Well Being Scale (SWB). This study employed quantitative methods to determine how, if at all, spirituality affects the ability to cope with interpersonal conflict at work stressors. First, a correlation analysis was performed to determine if there was a relationship between spirituality, life satisfaction, and work conflict. A simple regression analysis was completed to ascertain predictability. Second, differences due to gender were compared through an independent t-test to ascertain if there were differences between men and women. Results showed that there is no relationship between ICAWS and SWBS. Also, there were no differences in these measures based on gender. However, results showed a significant relationship between the ability to cope with stress and spirituality. The regression analysis supports these findings as well because the results for regression analysis showed that about 30% of the variance in life satisfaction is explained by existentialism.