Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 259–274 | Cite as

Interrelations between principals’ risk of burnout profiles and proactive self-regulation strategies

  • Lotta Tikkanen
  • Kirsi Pyhältö
  • Janne Pietarinen
  • Tiina Soini


School leadership is a demanding job. Those involved in school leadership have shown to experience high levels of work stress that may, if prolonged, result in burnout. The purpose of this study was to examine school leaders’ risks of burnout in terms of work stress and burnout symptoms, and their relationship with proactive self-regulation strategies. The participants consisted of 420 school principals and teachers with leadership duties (henceforth: principals). The survey data consisted of Likert-type statements and were analysed by hierarchical and K-means cluster analysis, and one-way analysis of variances. The results suggested that principals experience relatively low levels of work stress and burnout, and utilise several proactive self-regulation strategies. On the basis of cluster analysis, four risk of burnout profiles were identified. The profiles differed from each other in terms of proactive self-regulation strategies. The use of these strategies was related to a reduced risk of burnout.


Burnout Principal Proactive self-regulation strategies School leadership 



Funding was provided by the Academy of Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Educational SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Faculty of Educational SciencesUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  3. 3.Centre for University Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Educational SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher educationUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  5. 5.School of EducationUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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