December 22, 2014 at 9:47 am

Dawson, Holdaway Present ‘Validation of a Tool to Assess Teacher Burnout’

Ohio University Psychology graduate students Anne Dawson and Alex Holdaway presented a poster on “Validation of a Tool to Assess Teacher Burnout” at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual convention Nov. 20-23 in Philadelphia.

Dr. Brian Wymbs, Assistant Professor of Psychology, was a co-author. 

Abstract: Teacher-implemented school-based interventions are fundamental for children’s mental health (Burns et al., 1995). However, several barriers interfere with teachers’ implementation of school-based prevention/intervention programs, including teacher burnout. Indeed, Evers et al. (2002) found that teachers high in burnout report more negative attitudes about implementing school-based programming. The ability of stakeholders to identify opportunities to reduce burnout may improve the implementation of cognitive and behavioral interventions for students. Therefore, an accessible and valid measure of teacher burnout is essential. Although the Maslach Burnout InventoryEducators Version (Maslach, 1996) is prominent, it is relatively expensive for schools ($100/50 teachers) and is adapted from a measure that was not specifically designed for teachers. As such, items may be less tailored to teaching and may fail to include stressors unique to the profession. Conversely, the Teacher Burnout Scale (TBS; Seidman & Zager, 1987) is a free and promising tool originally designed for teachers.

This study assessed the reliability and validity of the 21-item TBS. Sixty-nine general education teachers (PreK-6th; 95.7% Caucasian) completed the TBS and demographic/classroom information. The TBS contains four subscales: Career Satisfaction (CS; α=.83), Perceived Administration Support (PAS; α=.88), Coping with Job-Stressors (CJS; α=.71), and Attitudes towards Students (ATS; α=.75). Subscales demonstrated moderate (r =.24, p=.049) to strong (r=.55, p<.001) associations suggesting distinct, but related, subscales. Additionally, data suggested construct and discriminant validity. The ATS subscale significantly related to general classroom misbehavior (r=.40, p=<.001), boy-to-girl student ratio (r=.24, p =.046), and teacher’s grade-level (r=.24, p=.047). The CS and CJS scales were associated with years teaching at current facility (r=.25, p=.038; r=.27, p=.02, respectively), and teachers’ age (r=.28, p=.025; r=.24, p=.052). The ATS and CS scales were associated with percent of students receiving free/reduced lunch (r=.26, p=.032; r=.22; p=.07). Data collection continues and a full-sample (Expected N = 100) CFA will be presented.

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