The Relationship between Challenge and Hindrance Stressors and Emotional Exhaustion: The Moderating Role of Perceived Servant Leadership. Academic Article uri icon


  • Schoolteachers worldwide are facing stressful work conditions with heavy responsibilities. Stress may contribute to psychological disorders and physical health issues. The purposes of this study were (1) to investigate whether both challenge and hindrance stressors are positively associated with emotional exhaustion among Chinese schoolteachers and (2) to examine whether perceived servant leadership moderates the effects of challenge and hindrance stressors on emotional exhaustion. This study was cross-sectional in nature. A sample of 2636 schoolteachers was elicited from schools in South China. Research data were collected in the fall semester of 2019 via WeChat. Descriptive statistics and inter-correlations were conducted using SPSS 21. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to test measurement models to determine convergent and discriminant validities using Mplus 7.4. Hierarchical multiple regression was performed to test proposed hypotheses using SPSS 21. The study results demonstrated that both challenge and hindrance stressors were positively related to emotional exhaustion among schoolteachers in Chinese schools. It was also indicated that, while perceived servant leadership buffers the relationship between challenge stressor and emotional exhaustion, it enhances the relationship between hindrance stressor and emotional exhaustion. Implications and limitations are also provided.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, H., Qiu, S., Dooley, L. M., & Ma, C.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Wu, Hongchao||Qiu, Shaoping||Dooley, Larry M||Ma, Congying

publication date

  • December 2019