School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Kenneth R. Tierce


Burnout, Charter Schools, Coping, School Leadership, Stress


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the impact of stress and burnout on charter school leaders in the western United States. The research questions were designed to understand how the role of charter school leadership impacts stress and burnout for charter school leaders. The theories guiding this study included the managerial stress cycle theory, and the multidimensional theory of burnout. While existing research has documented the stressors of traditional public-school administrators, little research has explored the distinctive challenges faced by charter school administrators. Data collection included individual interviews, a focus group interview, and observations. The identification of themes came from the reading and coding of the transcriptions using qualitative analysis software to discover the essence of stress and burnout as experienced by charter school leaders. The causes of stress and burnout described by participants included relationships with local school boards, maintaining student enrollment, and the broad scope of the job of charter school leader. Participants indicated job-related stress and burnout negatively impacted personal and professional relationships, job performance and satisfaction, and physical and mental health. Participants reported periods of chronic stress leading to incidents of burnout.