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Dimensions of teacher burnout: relations with potential stressors at school

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze how four potential stressors in the school environment (discipline problems, time pressure, low student motivation, and value dissonance) were related to dimensions of teacher burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment). Participants were 1145 teachers from grade 1 to 13. Data were analyzed by means of confirmatory factor analysis and SEM analysis. A confirmatory factor analysis including the four stressors and the three dimensions of burnout had good fit to the data and the correlations between the factors were moderate. Although all the potential stressors were significantly related to emotional exhaustion, time pressure was the far strongest predictor. In comparison, depersonalization and personal accomplishment was not significantly related to time pressure but was significantly predicted by discipline problems, low student motivation, and value dissonance. Teachers at the lowest grade levels reported more discipline problems and higher time pressure than teachers at higher grade levels, whereas teachers at the highest grade levels experienced low student motivation as a greater problem than teachers at lower grade levels.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant from the Union of Education Norway.

Author information

Correspondence to Einar M. Skaalvik.

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Skaalvik, E.M., Skaalvik, S. Dimensions of teacher burnout: relations with potential stressors at school. Soc Psychol Educ 20, 775–790 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-017-9391-0

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Keywords

  • Teacher burnout
  • Discipline problems
  • Time pressure
  • Student motivation
  • Educational values