Assistant principal burnout : a quantitative non-experimental correlational investigation of burnout theory and well-being theory to address burnout in assistant principals.


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Assistant principals play a critical role in developing the climate and culture of a campus, and over the last three decades they have become an integral part of the aggregate known as educational leadership (Hausman et al., 2002, p. 136). Unfortunately, they are suffering from job stress and burnout from a lack of a clearly defined job roles, creating strenuous working environments and work overload. This issue, if gone unaddressed, can potentially create retention issues for educational systems and mental/physical ailments in these individuals. For this reason, I chose to conduct a quantitative non-experimental correlational survey study to determine whether correlations existed between the major concepts of the burnout theory and well-being theory in assistant principals across the state Texas. This study utilized Maslach’s Burnout Inventory for Educator’s, Seligman’s Workplace PERMA Profiler, and a demographical survey. The surveys were sent to all 12,437 assistant principals in Texas and 950 participated. The study yielded the following statistically significant findings. 1) findings indicated that as perceptions of burnout increase, perceptions of well-being tended to decrease; 2) findings showed strong evidence that Texas assistant principals were burned out, 93.2% indicating emotional exhaustion and 94.2% indicating depersonalization; 3) findings indicated that years of experience as an assistant principal and the age of assistant principals played a role in the burnout levels of these educational professionals; and 4) follow up predictive analyses found that depersonalization was a major contributor to decreased feelings of personal accomplishment and identified females as exhibiting higher levels of emotional exhaustion. The study’s findings revealed limitations within the study and critical correlations between the personal and professional variables associated with burnout in assistant principals. These future research recommendations were suggested to address the limitations: replicate to a mixed method quasi-experimental study, investigate deeper into what is creating burnout, and develop a survey with deeper/richer questioning. Future professional practices suggested were implementation of mindfulness and positive psychology practices for leaders, professional development specific to the well-being of leaders, budget for well-being for leaders, make it a part of the district and campus improvement plan, and create a well-being team for the district.



Positive psychology. Well-being theory. Role ambiguity. Self-efficacy. Maslach Burnout Inventory for educators. Workplace PERMA Profiler. Multidimensional theory of burnout. Burnout. Assistant principals.