Leadership in High-Needs School Contexts: Assessing Principals’ Problem-Solving, Resilience, and Hope

Pamela Rene Russell, Fordham University


The demands placed on principals have increased exponentially in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, especially for principals who lead high needs schools. Given that principals are the primary problem solvers, it is critical to better understand their preferred decision-making styles. Decision-making is influenced by perceptions of resilience and hope; this can increase leadership capacity, wellness, and school effectiveness. This quantitative survey research study examined the three dimensions of VIEW: An Assessment of Problem-solving Style (Orientation to Change, Manner of Processing, Ways of Deciding). It compares these dimensions to perceptions of resilience, using the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and hope, using the Adult Hope Scale. Participants were principals leading high needs, high poverty schools in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State. Principals had very clear problem-solving preferences: 1) Orientation to Change, Developer (62.5%); Manner of Processing, External Processing (75.0%); and Ways of Deciding, Task-based (75.0%). Principals reported strong resilience 92.9% high or intermediate) and high levels of hope (92.8% high or moderate). Only the dimension of Orientation to Change had a statistically significant correlation with resilience (x2 = 8.71[1], p < .003); all other dimensions were not significantly correlated to resilience or hope. This may be attributable to the small sample size and the possibility of Type 2 errors.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Russell, Pamela Rene, "Leadership in High-Needs School Contexts: Assessing Principals’ Problem-Solving, Resilience, and Hope" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30313134.