Predictors of burnout in assistant principals

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

James D. McKinney - Committee Chair


The purposes of this study were to determine the extent measures of role stress, personal variables, life stress, and background variables explained burnout in public school assistant principals. A stratified random sample of 180 daytime assistant principals from a large urban school district was selected. The selected assistant principals completed the Assistant Principal's Survey that included the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a role questionnaire, an administrator's survey, a life experiences survey, and a background information sheet. Analysis of the data indicated that assistant principals did not experience burnout as conceptualized by the MBI. Preliminary analysis showed that the only construct of burnout significantly correlated with the independent variables was depersonalization, which had significant relationships with role conflict, locus of control, and school configuration. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the three variable model accounted for 7.2% of the variance in depersonalization.Secondary analysis of the data consisted of a series of univariate and multivariate analyses of variance on the continuous variables. Result of these analyses indicated multivariate main effects for age and administrative experience as well as school configuration. Univariate main effects were found for (1) age and role ambiguity, (2) age and locus of control, (3) age and life events stress, and (4) school configuration and powerlessness. Older assistant principals reported higher scores in role ambiguity and locus of control, while younger assistant principals reported more life events stress than older assistant principals. Elementary assistant principals reported lower levels of powerlessness than secondary school assistant principals.


Education, Administration; Psychology, Industrial

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