Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 799–817 | Cite as

Toward a theoretical model to understand teacher emotions and teacher burnout in the context of student misbehavior: Appraisal, regulation and coping

  • Mei-Lin ChangEmail author
Original Paper


Compared with other professions, teachers in P-12 schools appear to experience a higher level of emotional exhaustion (see review in Maslach et al. in Ann Rev Psychol 52(1):397, 2001; Schaufeli and Enzmann in The burnout companion to study and practice: a critical analysis, Taylor & Francis, Philadelphia, 1998). The purpose of this study is to examine teacher emotions within the context of teachers’ appraisals and the ways they regulate and cope with their emotions. The study explores teachers’ appraisals of disruptive classroom behavior situations and investigates the adaptive coping and emotion regulation strategies that ease teacher burnout. Data were collected from 492 teachers in the US Midwest and subjected to hypothesis testing using structural equation modeling. The model provides evidence supporting a pathway between teachers’ antecedent judgments and their experience of emotion, as well as providing evidence for how the consequent emotions contribute to teachers’ feelings of burnout. This study further validates the relationships between the appraisals teachers make about an incident and the correlative intensity of emotions. Several hypotheses are either supported or partially supported after testing alternate models. Discussion and implications regarding teacher emotion regulation and coping are provided.


Teacher emotion Teacher burnout Emotional appraisals Emotion regulation Coping Teacher efficacy 



The author would like to thank Heather A. Davis, Anita Woolfolk Hoy, and Richard G. Lomax for their guidance during this research. The author also acknowledges Sarah Kozel Silverman, Evan Straub, Carey Andrzejewski, Ryan Poirier, and Mike Yough for language edits and comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Educational StudiesEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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