Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Ernest W. Brewer

Committee Members

Mary L. Derrington, Jennifer A. Morrow, Gregory C. Petty


This meta-analysis explored the phenomenon of teacher burnout— the biggest contributor to teacher attrition (Owens, 2013; Unterbrink, 2014; Yu, 2015). The focus of this study was to use meta-analytical procedures to explore the relationship between burnout dimensions (i.e., emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and feelings of personal accomplishment) and specific demand and resource correlates. Demand correlates included work overload, role conflict, role ambiguity, and student misbehavior. Resource correlates included peer support, supervisory support, and decision-making. This meta-analytical research method encompassed fifteen years of published and unpublished studies from January 2000 through January 2015. A total of 116 studies met the following inclusion criteria: use of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and teacher participants from rural or urban public elementary, middle, and/or secondary schools. Coding schemes included relevant quantitative data (e.g., Pearson r values, p-values, t, F, mean and standard deviation, or Fisher’s z statistics), and dichotomous or continuous variables. The study involved 39 meta-analyses using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA, Version 2.0) software program to identify sample size, weighted mean correlational coefficient effect size, significance (p-value), mean, standard error, homogeneity (Q statistic), and degrees of freedom (df) within respective hypotheses and research questions. As hypothesized, findings indicated a positive relationship between emotional exhaustion and demand correlates, a negative relationship between depersonalization and resource correlates, and a positive relationship between personal accomplishment and resource correlates. No significant relationship was found between personal accomplishment and demand correlates, although unidentified variables may have moderated the relationship. This study provided substantive research, major findings, and practical recommendations that may influence future research, policies, and procedures to improve the wellbeing of educators. Teacher burnout is a debilitating psychological syndrome that continues to spread like wildfire and holds severe ramifications to the individual educator, students, educational system, and society as a whole. Previous research studies have lacked in: an organizational approach, empirical evidence, conclusive findings, and substantial research on the relationship between burnout dimensions and demand and resource correlates. Hobfoll’s Conservation of Resource Theory (1993, 2001), Leiter’s burnout model (1993), and Brewer’s Process of Meta-Analysis (2003) served as the theoretical framework and systematic means that guided this study.

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