The Road to Teacher Burnout and its Possible Protecting Factors – A Narrative Review


  • Eszter Nagy Budapest University of Technology and Economics,Hungary



Burnout measurement, Emotional traits, Social support


In this review study personality characteristics and workplace environment variables (with special attention to classroom conditions) are investigated regarding the phenomenon of teacher burnout in order to discover the basis of an effective intervention program. Regarding the studies, the Maslach Burnout Inventory Educational Survey for burnout measurement (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001) was applied in all of the researches. Samples have been collected from the USA and several countries of Europe. According to the results, workload and social support turned out to be major influencing factors as much as work characteristics are concerned, and positive affectivity, emotional stability and self-efficacy were the major influencing variables as much as personality characteristics are concerned. As a conclusion of the correlating tendencies, a hypothesized model has been created, in order to explain the process of how an individual responds to his or her environment in the process of burnout, where the steps are: (1) emotional traits (e.g.: emotional stability, positive affectivity, extraversion) -> (2) perceived work environment and work characteristics -> (3) consideration about one’s ability to cope (self-efficacy, self-confidence) ->  (4) choice of a coping strategy -> (5) influence on the level of burnout (either increase or decrease).


Alarcon, G., Eschleman, K. J., & Bowling, N. A. (2009). Relationships between personality variables and burnout: A meta-analysis. Work & Stress, 23(3), 244–263.

Bergner, T. H. (2012). Burnout - A kiégés megelőzése 12 lépésben. Retrieved from

Blickle, G., Meurs, J. A., Wihler, A., Ewen, C., Merkl, R., & Missfeld, T. (2015). Extraversion and job performance: How context relevance and bandwidth specificity create a non-linear, positive, and asymptotic relationship. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 87, 80–88.

Bracha, E., & Bocos, M. (2015). A Sense of Coherence in Teaching Situations as a Predictor of First Year Teaching Interns’ Burnout. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 209(July), 180–187.

Byrne, B. M. (1991). Burnout: Investigating the impact of background variables for elementary, intermediate, secondary, and university educators. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(2), 197–209.

Colomeischi, A. A. (2015). Teachers Burnout in Relation with Their Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180(November 2014), 1067–1073.

Demerouti, E.; Bakker, A.B.; Nachreiner, F.; Schaufeli, W. B. (2001). The Job Demands-Resources Model of Burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Fernet, C., Guay, F., Senécal, C., & Austin, S. (2012). Predicting intraindividual changes in teacher burnout: The role of perceived school environment and motivational factors. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(4), 514–525.

Fiorilli, C., Gabola, P., Pepe, A., Meylan, N., Curchod-Ruedi, D., Albanese, O., & Doudin, P. A. (2014). The effect of teachers’ emotional intensity and social support on burnout syndrome. A comparison between Italy and Switzerland. Revue Europeene de Psychologie Appliquee, 65(6), 275–283.

Foley, C., & Murphy, M. (2015). Burnout in Irish teachers: Investigating the role of individual differences, work environment and coping factors. Teaching and Teacher Education, 50, 46–55.

Freudenberger, H. J. (1974). Staff Burn-Out. Journal of Social Issues, 30(1), 159–165.

Gil-Monte, P., Peiro, J. M., & Valcárcel, P. (1998). A model of burnout process development: An alternative from appraisal models of stress. Comportamento Organizacional E Gestão, 4(1), 165–179.

Grayson, J. L., & Alvarez, H. K. (2008). School climate factors relating to teacher burnout: A mediator model. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(5), 1349–1363.

Hayes, M. W. (2013). The Challenge of BURNOUT: An Ethical Perspective. Annals of Psychotherapy & Integrative Health. Retrieved from

Hurtz, G. M., & Donovan, J. J. (2000). Personality and job performance: the Big Five revisited. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(6), 869–879.

J.Burke, R., & Greenglass, E. (1995). A Longtitudinal Study of Psychological Burnout in Teachers. Human Relations, 48(2), 187–202.

Ju, C., Lan, J., Li, Y., Feng, W., & You, X. (2015). The mediating role of workplace social support on the relationship between trait emotional intelligence and teacher burnout. Teaching and Teacher Education, 51, 58–67.

Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Erez, A., & Locke, E. A. (2005). Core Self-Evaluations and Job and Life Satisfaction: The Role of Self-Concordance and goal attainment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(2), 257–268.

Laugaa, D., Rascle, N., & Bruchon-Schweitzer, M. (2008). Stress and burnout among French elementary school teachers: A transactional approach. Revue Europeene de Psychologie Appliquee, 58(4), 241–251.

Lee, R. T., & Ashforth, B. E. (1993). A Longitudinal Study of Burnout among Supervisors and Managers: Comparisons between the Leiter and Maslach (1988) and Golembiewski et al. (1986) Models. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Leiter, M. P. (1993). Burnout as a developmental process: Consideration of models. Professional Burnout: Recent Developments in Theory and Research.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job Burnout. Annual Review Psychology, 52, 397–422.

Mazur, P. J., & Lynch, M. D. (1989). Differential impact of administrative, organizational, and personality factors on teacher burnout. Teaching and Teacher Education, 5(4), 337–353.

Mccrae, R. R., John, O. P., Bond, M., Borkenau, P., Buss, D., Costa, P., … Norman, W. (n.d.). An Introduction to the Five-Factor Model and Its Applications.

Mittal, M., & Chhabra, S. (2011). A Study of Emotionlal Labor and Burnout Symptoms in Teachers. Global Management Review.

Reis, D., Xanthopoulou, D., & Tsaousis, I. (2015). Measuring job and academic burnout with the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI): Factorial invariance across samples and countries. Burnout Research, 2(1), 8–18.

Rosenman, R. H., Brand, R. J., Sholtz, R. I., & Friedman, M. (1976). Multivariate prediction of coronary heart disease during 8.5 year follow-up in the Western Collaborative Group Study. American Journal of Cardiology, 37(6), 903–910.

Rotter, J. B. (1966). Psychological Monographs: General and Applied Generalized Expectancies For Internal Versus External Control of Reinforcement, 80(609).

Rouxel, G., Michinov, E., & Dodeler, V. (2016). The influence of work characteristics, emotional display rules and affectivity on burnout and job satisfaction: A survey among geriatric care workers. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 62, 81–89.

Sas, C., Boroş, D., & Bonchiş, E. (2011). Aspects of the burnout syndrome within the teaching staff. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 11, 266–270.

Schaufeli, W.B.; Buunk, B. P. (1996). Professional Burnout. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Sun, L., Gao, Y., Yang, J., Zang, X.-Y., & Wang, Y.-G. (2016). The impact of professional identity on role stress in nursing students: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Nursing

Studies, 63, 1–8.

Wilt, J., & Revelle, W. (2009). Extraversion. Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior, 111(1), 1.