The Missing Link:
Principal Well-being Literacy
and Its Drivers and Outcomes

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Principal Investigator
Dr. Chen Junjun
Research Co-ordinator
and Researh Fellow of APCLC
Associate Professor
Department of Education Policy
and Leadership
The Education University of Hong Kong
Professor Allan Walker
Research Chair Professor and Co-Director of APCLC
The Education University of Hong Kong
Dr Qian Haiyan
Associate Professor and Director of APCLC
The Education University of Hong Kong
Professor Linsay Oades
Deputy Dean, Melb Graduate School Of Education University of Melbourne
Professor Philip Riley
Professor of Educational Leadership
Deakin University
Funding Source
General Research Fund 2023-2024
Project Duration


As school principals are the gatekeepers for all school initiatives, principals need to be positioned firmly at the center of school well-being promotion research to strengthen their well-being literacy. This would help principals take care of themselves and model this to staff and students. It would also encourage principals to search for and deal with well-being-related information, including its use and decision-making to establish well-being promotion schools.

Based on a pilot study of principal well-being literacy and the PI’s previous project on principal well-being, this study will employ an exploratory sequential mixed-methods design with qualitative and quantitative strands. The three empirical studies with school principals in Hong Kong. The study will provide empirical insights to advance the theoretical framework on principal well-being by filling in the ‘black box’ (i.e., principal well-being literacy) between drivers and outcomes of principal well-being. Through a robust validation procedure, this study will produce a multidimensional principal well-being Literacy instrument that can potentially accelerate a balanced investigation of principal well-being literacy using diverse research methods. This study will also produce a practical blueprint for supporting principal well-being literacy building in Hong Kong and beyond beyond.

  1. To develop and validate a Principal Well-Being Literacy Instrument;
  2. To investigate the state of principal well-being literacy;
  3. To identify influential individual, institutional, and contextual drivers of principal well-being literacy; and
  4. To explore whether and how principal well-being literacy mediates the drivers and outcomes of principal well-being.

Pathways to Impact on Practice

The direct beneficiaries of this project will be individual principals in Hong Kong. It is expected that approximately 500 participating principals will benefit. We will add the constituents of principal well-being literacy to the principal well-being website developed based on the PI’s previous projects (principal well-being & principal resilience) for promoting principal well-being through various pathways.

Pathways to Impact on Scholarship

This study will establish a conceptual framework for investigating individual, institutional and contextual drivers, principal well-being literacy and well-being outcomes. This project will also develop and validate a multidimensional Principal Well-Being Literacy Instrument. Local and international researchers interested in principal well-being literacy can use and adopt this conceptual framework and instrument for their research to produce high-ranking publications and to establish a principal well-being literacy website in their contexts. Moreover, scholars can adopt this instrument to conduct large-scale quantitative studies to boost the understanding of this underdeveloped area. It would also be possible to engage other relevant constructs (e.g., job performance, teacher and student well-being, school effectiveness) to enhance individual and school wellness and success.