Burnout in the teaching profession: an exploratory study

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This exploratory study was conducted to determine the extent and the nature of burnout among the group of helping professionals who are working in the field of teaching. It attempted to assess the extent and degree of teacher burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory with respect to certain variables and to evaluate teachers' perceived causes, coping strategies, and alleviation factors through a set of open-ended questions. It was hypothesized that there would be no signif­icant relationship between teacher burnout as measured by the MBI and educational levels, sex, marital status, length of experience, and age. Further hypothesizing stated that there would be no significant differences between the Maslach Burnout subscales of emotional ex­haustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplish­ment. The study also attempted to build a profile of teacher burnout by discussing the causes, coping stra­tegies, and alleviation factors perceived by teachers with respect to the independent variables above. In order to test the hypotheses and to build the profile of teacher burnout, 135 teachers from two rural school divisions were sampled. None of the null hy-potheses were accepted. Significance was found between the demographic variables and the subscales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Specifically, sex corre­lated with emotional exhaustion in terms of frequency and intensity, age with frequency of emotional exhaus­tion, marital status with frequency of depersonaliza­tion, educational level with intensity of depersonal­ization, and, length of service with frequencies of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. The coping skills being used to offset burnout included colleagual relations, family and friends, healthy activities, substance use, avoidance, and the inability to cope. The causes and alleviation factors attributed to burnout syndrome were similar. They included politics and public opinions, clerical activities, student related concerns, administrative ineffectiveness, alienation, and role incongruencies. The findings permitted a number of observations with regard to the state of teacher burnout in rural areas. It also suggested implications for future research, which warrant further examination, and practical considera­tions for the possible alleviation of job-related stress and burnout among teachers.
Bibliography: p. 139-146.
Ruddy, S. L. (1983). Burnout in the teaching profession: an exploratory study (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/16269