Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Fred J. Galloway, EdD, Chair; Kenneth Galea’i, PhD, Member; Fred McFarlane, PhD, Member


California, comparative study, counselor burnout, high school counselors, Leadership studies, leadership style, principals, quantitative, rehabilitation counselors, rehabilitation supervisors


This quantitative study investigated whether the perceived leadership style of high school principals and rehabilitation supervisors had an effect on the burnout of high school and rehabilitation counselors. Demographic and work related characteristics were also assessed to determine if these factors affected burnout rates. Survey data from the three separate scales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) were combined with demographic data to estimate a series of three regression models. The models focused on the effects of demographic, work-related and leadership variables on counselor burnout. Data were collected from 96 high school counselors and 46 rehabilitation counselors from California. Results suggest that a relationship existed between both leadership style and quality and counselor burnout for high school counselors, but not for rehabilitation counselors. Specifically, transactional leadership was associated with less burnout among high school counselors. In addition, some demographic and work related factors affected burnout in both groups. For example, among high school counselors, burnout was affected by years married, minutes it took to get to work, age, and gender. However, for rehabilitation counselors, burnout was only affected by gender. Based upon the results of this study, recommendations for future research include searching for a more robust modeling specification for the rehabilitation counselors—ones that would incorporate the experience level of the counselor into both analyses and determine whether high school counselors differ from other counselor groups in terms of the positive effect of transactional leadership on burnout. Also recommended was the inclusion of an expanded sample. This would be important to not only support the empirical findings of the present investigation, but to further examine the effects of leadership style and quality and the impact of demographics on both rehabilitation and high school counselors.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access