Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Melissa Luke


Hierarchical regression, Occupational burnout, Role stress, School counseling


This study utilized hierarchical regression to examine the impact of practicing school counselors’ years of professional experience, master’s-level training, and work environment characteristics on their levels of occupational burnout. The specific training program variables under consideration included the number of school counseling courses completed, number of courses taught by faculty members with a school counseling identity, and degree of congruence between what was taught about the school counselor’s role during master’s-level training and participants’ actual practice. Work environment characteristics explored included caseload size, level of principal support, and assignment of non-counseling duties. Participants’ (n = 236) burnout levels were measured along three dimensions, with average scores reflecting moderate levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, along with high levels of personal accomplishment. Together, the predictor variables accounted for 26.0% of the variability in emotional exhaustion scores, 15.3% of the variability in depersonalization scores, and 10.7% of the variability in personal accomplishment scores. The overall model was significant for all three criterion variables. Significant predictors of all three dimensions of burnout included principal support and congruence between training and practice. Additionally, years of experience was a significant, inverse predictor of emotional exhaustion. Thus, the findings suggest that risk factors for occupational burnout exists at both the intrapersonal and organizational levels. Implications are discussed for school counselors, school counselor educators, and school counseling program directors/school administrators. Recommendations for future research are provided.


Open Access