Personal and Contextual Factors of the Emotional Exhaustion of School Principals during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Izabela Sorić , Irena Burić , Zvjezdan Penezić


The school principal's job, which is extremely stressful even in
"normal conditions", is currently even more stressful due to
the changes brought to the educational system by the Covid-
-19 pandemic, that is, due to the requirements for the fast
and successful organization and implementation of distance
(online) education. Therefore, the aim of this study was to
examine the extent to which the principals' personal
characteristics (gender, age, ICT competencies, self-efficacy, work efficiency, support for teacher autonomy, positive and negative affect) together with some contextual characteristics
(school size) contribute to the principals' burnout, that is, to
emotional exhaustion as a key dimension of burnout. The
sample consisted of 206 principals (of which 74 (35.9%)
were men) who completed an online questionnaire during
the implementation of online education due to the Covid-19
pandemic. The results showed that for the emotional
exhaustion of principals, in the situations of online education
due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the most important
predictors were their ICT skills and the negative affect that
they experience at work. Additionally, negative affect
completely mediated the relationship between the principals'
self-efficacy and their emotional exhaustion at work.


school principals, self-efficacy, ICT skills, negative affect, emotional exhaustion during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096