ERIC Number: ED335329
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Burnout in Teachers: Is It Burnout or Is It Depression?
Schonfeld, Irvin Sam
Burnout measures cover the same ground as depressive symptom scales. Problems with burnout scales include their vulnerability to attribution errors. The few studies having both burnout/stress and psychological symptom measures suggest considerable overlap in the scales. Three cross-sectional studies from very different geographic areas reveal high levels of depressive symptoms or psychological distress in veteran teachers. Correlational evidence using measures of psychophysiologic symptoms, perceived health, job satisfaction, and motivation to continue in the profession indicates that a depressive symptom scale (the CES-D) administered to a group of newly appointed female teachers behaves in much the same way that burnout measures behave. Additional evidence provided by the longitudinal component of the study is consistent with the view that adverse teaching conditions are causally related to depressive symptoms and that the effect size is large. Finally, two of the three components of burnout, emotional exhaustion and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment, are likely to be symptoms of depression; the third component, depersonalization, is reflective of the hostility and friction that characterize the interpersonal relationships of depressed individuals. The paper suggests that burnout may be more fruitfully conceptualized as depressive symptoms that result from adverse work environments. (Author/IAH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Boston, MA, August 1990).