School Environment and Coping Resources: A Predictive Model of School Counselor Burnout

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julie Beth Stephan (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
L. DiAnne Borders

Abstract: "The relationship of school environment and counselor coping resources to school counselor burnout was investigated in this dissertation study by testing a hypothesized path model among a sample of school counselors certified in North Carolina and currently working in the state's public middle schools. The model, created by the researcher based on an in-depth study of the burnout literature, posited that factors within the school environment (counselor perceptions of school climate, role conflict, role ambiguity) have a direct effect on school counselor burnout and an indirect effect on burnout mediated by counselor coping resources. The role of counselor coping resources (self-efficacy, social support , and behavioral problem-solving) was examined for indications of mediating or moderating effects. Burnout was measured as a three-dimensional construct comprised of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment. 414 school counselors completed a mailed, 95-item, self-report booklet. 131 of the participants worked in rural schools, whereas 283 had positions within a non-rural context. Statistical analyses, including structural equation modeling, revealed that the counselors' perception of the school environment (climate of support, role conflict, and role ambiguity) predicted two dimensions of counselor burnout: emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Self-efficacy was positively correlated to emotional exhaustion, indicating that very high expectations of oneself may contribute to burnout. Support was not found for the hypothesis that counselor coping resources (self-efficacy, social support, and behavioral problem-solving) played a significant role in the relationship between school environment and burnout. However, a number of statistically significant differences were found between rural and non-rural school counselors. Behavioral problem solving was positively correlated with depersonalization for rural participants. Role ambiguity and role conflict were significantly and positively correlated to emotional exhaustion for non-rural participants, but not for their rural counterparts. Differences in the results of analyses for the two groups are elaborated in detail. The implications for school counselors, policymakers, and counselor educators are discussed, and recommendations for future research are provided. "--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2005
school environment, counselor coping resources, school counselor burnout
Student counselors--Psychology
Burn out (Psychology)
School environment

Email this document to