Academic journal article Australian Journal of Education

An Analysis of Relations among Locus of Control, Burnout and Job Satisfaction in Turkish High School Teachers

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Education

An Analysis of Relations among Locus of Control, Burnout and Job Satisfaction in Turkish High School Teachers

Article excerpt

The aim of this study was to see how teachers' burnout is related to different aspects of locus of control, job satisfaction and demographic characteristics such as age and gender. The Job Satisfaction Scale was used to measure the subjects' job satisfaction level. In addition, the Maslach Burnout Inventory which was used to measure dimensions of teachers' burnout consisted of three subscales: emotional exhaustion, personal accomplishment and depersonalisation. The Internal-External Locus of Control Scale was used to measure the extent to which teachers had an internal or external locus of control. The findings showed that all burnout dimensions were either positively or negatively related to independent variables. All variables were statistically significant in predictive effect on depersonalisation. External locus of control and age (predictor variables) were positively and directly related to emotional exhaustion dimension of burnout. Only one variable--age (predictor variable)--was significantly predictive of personal accomplishment.



In recent years, educators have become increasingly interested in the problem of teachers' job burnout (Byrne, 1998; Guglielmi & Tatrow, 1998). Burnout directly affects teachers' professional lives in their work, particularly through its effect on their emotional well-being. Burnout is defined as a negative psychological experience that is the reaction to job-related stress (Deutsch, 1984; Ratlif, 1988). As a general term, burnout refers to a cluster of physical, emotional, and interactional symptoms including emotional exhaustion, a sense of lacking personal accomplishment, and depersonalisation of clients (Maslach, 1982). Burnout in an individual is inferred to result from job strains, which may lead to maladaptive coping responses and poor work performance (Tang & Yeung, 1999). Other burnout symptoms may include high absenteeism, lack of commitment, abnormal desire for vacations, low satisfaction, self-esteem, and an inability to take work seriously (Adams, 1999; Leung, Siu, & Spector, 2000).

Maslach and Jackson's (1981) burnout model has three factors: (a) 'emotional exhaustion' which describes feelings of being emotionally over-extended and exhausted, (b) reduced 'personal accomplishment' which is experienced as decreased feelings of competence and achievement and a tendency to evaluate oneself negatively with respect to work, (c) 'depersonalisation' which is the development of negative and cynical feelings and attitudes about one's profession. Literature (Adams, 1999; Wong & Cheuk, 1998) offers a complex etiological model of burnout, and emphasises the interaction of individual, organisational, and societal factors. Certain demographic variables, including age, marital status, and gender were also found to be related to burnout (Maslach, 1982; Poulin & Walter, 1993). In addition, lack of power, isolation from peers, lack of common purpose among staff members, and lack of collegial support are related to teachers' burnout in the literature (Brouwers & Tomic, 2000; Otwell & Mullis, 1997). In other words, those factors make up teachers' burnout (Formanuik, 1995). Davis and Wilson (2000), in a review of teachers' burnout and satisfaction, described the importance of quality of work life programs as a means for reducing or eliminating teachers' burnout. Hart (1994) examined the positive and negative experiences of teachers and found that psychological distress and morale contributed equally to teachers' overall quality of work life. Lewin's (1951) theory provides an important basis for studying teachers' job behaviours and attitudes. It assumes that a person's behaviour is determined by the interaction between his or her personal characteristics and environmental factors which can influence teachers' satisfaction, thus leading to burnout.

Job satisfaction is defined as a positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job situation and is linked with the characteristics and demands of one's work (Evans, 2001). …

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