Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

James North


Purpose of Study. Most studies examining stress and coping patterns of pastoral wives have been conducted from an advanced country background. Even though all the researchers agreed that these pastoral wives do experience a certain amount of stress, very little is known about pastoral wives in third-world countries who are faced with poverty, illiteracy, diseases and cultural restraints. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine perceived stress and coping patterns of pastoral wives of the Nigerian Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Methodology. A quantitative method of collecting data was used in this study. The two psychological instruments used in collecting the data were the Derogatis Stress Profile (DSP) and the Coping Resource Inventory-Adult (CRI-A). These two questionnaires were completed by 205 pastoral wives in group settings during their annual ministerial council meetings. Twenty-four hypotheses were developed around four independent variables of experience, education, age, and conference zones as well as around the different domains of the DSP and the CRI-A. These hypotheses were tested by one-way analysis of variance (1-way ANOVA) and results were analyzed.

Finding. There are significant differences in the personality domain across all variables but no significant differences in the emotional or environmental domains of the stress profile. Wives with more than 20 years of experience have higher stress scores on attitude posture than wives with less experience. Wives with education beyond a college degree have the lowest stress score on time pressure. Wives in the early midlife group have the highest stress scores in attitude posture, driven behavior, and role definition. Wives from Eastern Conferences have higher stress scores in driven behavior than wives from Western and Northern Conferences. Significant differences were found in all scales of approach coping strategies only among wives of different conference zones, but no significant differences in all other variables. Wives from both Eastern and Western Conferences use more logical analysis, positive reappraisal, seeking guidance, and problem solving than wives from the Northern Conferences.

Conclusion. Personality differences do affect the responses to stress as perceived by pastoral wives in the Nigerian Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Cultural differences also affect how they cope with stressful life events.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy--Nigeria, Spouses of clergy--Nigeria, Andrews University--Dissertations--Seventh-day Adventists--Spouses of clergy--Nigeria.


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