Emotion work and emotional exhaustion in teachers: the job and individual perspective

Gérard Näring*, Peter Vlerick, Bart Van de Ven

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Teaching requires much emotion work which takes its toll on teachers. Emotion work is usually studied from one of two perspectives, a job or an individual perspective. In this study we assessed the relative importance of these two perspectives in predicting emotional exhaustion. More than 200 teachers completed a questionnaire comprising the DISQ, the D-QEL, and the UBOS. In line with previous studies our findings indicated that emotional exhaustion is positively associated with emotional job demands and surface acting. The relative importance of the two operationalizations of emotion work was assessed by comparing the results of two regression analyses. Whereas the model with job demands explained 18% of the variance, the model with emotional labour only explained only 5%. In understanding what might contribute to emotional exhaustion in teachers the emotional job demands might be much more important than the self-regulation perspective that is measured with emotional labour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-72
    Number of pages10
    JournalEducational Studies
    Issue number1
    Early online date12 May 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


    • emotion work
    • teaching
    • emotional exhaustion
    • job demands
    • emotional labour


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