Burnout in School Principals: Role Related Antecedents

Abstract

The school principal's professional world is characterized by overwhelming responsibilities, information perplexities, and emotional anxiety. The main purpose of this study was to map the common work-related stressors encountered by principals and to assess their relative weight in terms of predicting school principal burnout. A sample of 821 elementary and secondary, male and female school principals participated in the study. They completed a self-report questionnaire containing two scales: a burnout scale (measured as a three-dimensional concept consisting of exhaustion, depersonalization, and accomplishment), and a role-pressures scale. Multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), multiple linear regression, and discriminant function analysis were used in data processing. Findings show that burnout was affected mostly by pressures stemming from teachers and parents, and to a lesser extent, from overload (qualitative and quantitative). Differences between elementary and secondary school principals were noted. The findings imply that principals who feel that their leadership is challenged or rejected feel strongly stressed and eventually burned-out.

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Friedman, I.A. Burnout in School Principals: Role Related Antecedents. Social Psychology of Education 5, 229–251 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016321210858

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Keywords

  • Multiple Linear Regression
  • Social Context
  • Relative Weight
  • Discriminant Function
  • Education Research