Feelings of Existential Fulfilment and Burnout Among Secondary School Teachers

B. Loonstra, A. Brouwers, W. Tomic*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Abstract Teacher burnout is recognized as a serious problem. In research it has been related to many person-specific variables; one of these, the variable of existential fulfilment, has received very little attention thus far. The present study focuses on the relationship between existential fulfilment and burnout among secondary school teachers in the Netherlands (N = 504). Existential fulfilment was made operational by means of the Existential Fulfilment Scale, which distinguishes between three dimensions: self-acceptance, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed a three-dimensional construct with interdependent dimensions. Burnout was measured by the Dutch version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory for teachers. Negative relationships between the existential fulfilment dimensions on the one hand and the burnout dimensions exhaustion and cynicism on the other were hypothesized, as well as positive relationships between the existential fulfilment dimensions and the burnout dimension professional efficacy. The hypotheses were confirmed, except for the relationships between self-transcendence and exhaustion and self-transcendence and cynicism, which appeared not to be significant. The inquiry demonstrated the importance of existential fulfilment for the prevalence and prevention of burnout among teachers. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications for future research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)752-757
    Number of pages6
    JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
    Volume25
    Issue number5
    Early online date5 Feb 2009
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

    Keywords

    • Existential fulfilment, Self-acceptance, Self-actualization, Self-transcendence,Burnout, Secondary school teachers

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