International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 8 Num. 2 - June 2008


An Integrative Approach to Burnout in Secondary School Teachers: Examining the Role of Student Disruptive Behaviour and Disciplinary Issues

Volume 8 Num. 2 - June 2008 - Pages 259-270


Jos? M. Otero L?pez , Mar?a J. Santiago , Agust?n God?s , Cristina Castro , Est?baliz Villardefrancos , Dolores Ponte


The aim of this paper is to examine from an integrative approach to what extent occupational
stressors when in combination with other variables that have accredited their explicative
value in accounting for teacher distress in other domains (personal, psychosocial and
outside the occupational sphere) contribute to predicting and/or explaining the different
components of burnout. The sample consists in 1386 secondary education teachers. The
statistical results obtained confirm for all dimensions in the syndrome the explanatory
role of occupational stressors related with student disruptive behaviours/attitudes and
disciplinary issues (conflict management and lack of support/consensus). The remaining
variables in the study (Type A pattern, optimism, hardiness, friend and family support,
life events) also contribute to accounting for burnout, albeit to a lesser extent than
occupational factors. Results not only confirm the suitability of the selected variables but
also the necessity to design integration studies in which, besides another type of determinants,
to include variables from the occupational domain. In other words, our findings suggest
that student disruptive behaviour, the difficulties experienced by teachers in managing
conflict and the lack support/consensus as regards disciplinary actions are ?necessary?
ingredients if we are to successfully predict burnout in secondary school teachers.

Key words:

burnout, secondary school teachers, student disruptive behaviour, Type-A behaviour pattern, optimism, hardiness, social support

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