Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Robert Donmoyer, PhD, Chair; Fred J. Galloway, EdD, Member; Bobbi Hansen, EdD, Member; Paula S. Krist, PhD, Member


international school heads, Leadership studies, personal lives, professional lives, school administration, work-life balance


Interest in the topic of professional and personal life balance has increased exponentially over the past several decades. The topic even is listed by the current First Lady of the United States as a priority item to be addressed during her husband's first four years in office. While studies have been conducted about the professional/personal balance of corporate executives and other professionals, including government employees, there has been almost no direct study of balance in educational professionals' lives. This study investigated school heads' perceptions about the factors that impact their ability to achieve balance between their professional and personal lives. Further, the study explored whether there is a relationship between achieving a sense of balance, on the one hand, and success in both personal and professional areas, on the other. A web-based questionnaire was distributed to both international and U.S. independent school heads in the U.S. through two global, one national, and 11 regional membership associations. A total of 227 school heads responded. First descriptive statistics were used to gain a general perception of school heads' sense of balance, as well as their perceptions of what contributes to or detracts from achieving balance. Next, a total of 48 regression models were used to identify the determinants of professional and personal satisfaction and the success of school heads. Finally, further inferential analysis was used to determine whether there were significant differences between international and U.S. based independent school heads. Among other things, this study suggests that while over 85% of heads feel that balance is important at this stage in their career, less than half of those heads feel they have achieved balance in their lives. The study also identified strategies that educational leaders in independent schools in both the United States and international settings employ to establish balance. Finally, the study suggested that there was a relationship between achieving balance, on the one hand, and both personal and professional success, on the other. On this point and most others, there was no difference between U.S. and international respondents.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access