Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Burnout Levels of Teachers of Students with AD/HD in Turkey: Comparison with Teachers of Non-AD/HD Students

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Burnout Levels of Teachers of Students with AD/HD in Turkey: Comparison with Teachers of Non-AD/HD Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study was designed to explore the difference between the burnout level of teachers of students with AD/HD and teachers of non-AD/HD students in Turkey. The Turkish version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory was administered to a total of 78 Turkish elementary school teachers. Overall findings revealed that there were no significant differences between the scores of teachers of students with AD/HD and teachers of non-AD/HD students. Some subscale differences emerged; however, the Personal Accomplishment subscale score of teachers of non-AD/HD students was higher than teachers of students with AD/HD. Research findings are discussed and implications for future research are provided.

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Burnout is a work-related syndrome that stems from an individual's perception of the imbalance between demands and resources over a long period of time. It is typically characterized by apathy, detachment, and indifference in interpersonal relations, and feelings of emotional exhaustion related to a lack of psychic resources and helplessness. Maslach (1982) describes this condition as "a response to the chronic emotional strain of dealing extensively with other human beings, particularly when they are troubled or having problems" (p.3).

The Maslach Burnout Inventory focuses on three constructs: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Emotional exhaustion refers to feelings of being emotionally overextended and drained by the contact with other people, specifically, students in this study. Depersonalization refers to a negative, callous, or excessively detached response to other people who are usually the recipients of one's service or care. Reduced personal accomplishment refers to a decline in feelings of competence and successful achievement in work (Maslach, 1982; Schaufeli, Maslach, & Marek, 1993).

The issue of burnout was introduced to the scientific community and the public in the 1970s and gained extensive research attention. Specifically, Freudenberger (1977) and Maslach and Pines (1979) documented the stress-included phenomenon known as burnout present in members of the helping professions, such as education, health, and social services.

Teacher Burnout

Alarming statements have been released in the educational literature about the growing prevalence of teacher burnout and the adverse effect this has on the learning environment and on the accomplishment of educational goals (Blase, 1982). The effects of burnout are personal, and differ from one individual to another depending on their access to social and emotional support. Some teachers prefer to leave the profession and find another job. Teachers who do not have an opportunity to start a new career, however, become exhausted due to the challenges they face every day and become incapable of delivering services. Consequently, not only the quality of teaching is negatively affected but also the relationship between teachers and students erodes (Lamude & Scudder, 1992). Indeed, some of the burnout characteristics include: a) less sympathy and less interaction with students (Blase, 1986); b) lack of praise, reduced tolerance of students, failure to prepare lessons adequately, lack of commitment to the teaching profession (Kyriacou & Sutcliffe, 1978); and c) emotional and physical ill-health (Kyriacou, 1987).

Some of the important factors suggested in the extant literature as likely to be associated with teacher burnout are difficulties in managing disruptive children (Kokkinos & Panayiotou, 2005) and lack of competence to cope with such behavior (Evers, Tomic, & Browers, 2004). Empirical findings have identified student discipline issues to be significant correlates of teacher burnout (Byrne, 1994). In a qualitative analysis of the sources of burnout in teaching, Blase (1982) found that teachers perceive their students as major contributors to their potential burnout. …

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