The Effect of Age and Gender on Burnout of English Teacher in Iran * Dr. A. Asgari
THE EFFECT OF GENDER AND MARITAL STATUS ON BURNOUT OF ENGLISH TEACHER IN IRAN
2 THE EFFECT OF GENDER AND MARITAL STATUS ON BURNOUT OF ENGLISH TEACHER IN IRANAuthor:Azadeh AsgariC-3-22, Selatan Perdana, Taman Serdang Perdana, Seri Kembangan, Serdand, 43300,Selangor, Malaysia.Corresponding Author:Azadeh AsgariPostal Address: C-3-22, Selatan Perdana, Taman Serdang Perdana, Seri Kembangan,Serdang, 43300, Selangor, Malaysia.Phone Number: +60173507194E-Mail: Azia.Asgari@gmail.com
3 The Effect of Gender & Marital Status on Burnout of English Teacher in IranAbstract:Teacher burnout is a world-wide phenomenon that draws the attention of educationalpsychologists and stimulates efforts in construct elaboration and measurement.Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishments arethree dimensions that constitute the burnout syndrome. The purpose of this study wasto determine the effect of gender and marital status on burnout of English teacheramong 100 English teachers in Tehran, Iran. This paper is described the quantitativedata. All participants of the study were Iranian citizens who were worked in Tehranat secondary schools. For determining the level of burnout experienced by Englishteachers Maslach Burnout Inventory test (MBI) was conducted.Consequently, based upon the findings, an English teacher’s gender seems toinfluence teachers’ responses on each of the sub-scales of the Maslach BurnoutInventory so there was significant difference between the gender and burnout,whereas the study found that there were no significant differences among the maritalstatus of the English teacher scores on the MBI.Keyword: Gender, Marital status, Burnout, English TeacherIntroduction:Teaching is a very stressful occupation with negative aspects such as unmotivatedand difficult students, decreasing resources, larger class sizes, and rigidadministration practices, which can sometimes lead to teacher burnout. Teacherburnout has long been understood to have significant negative effects on teachingefficacy. Avoiding teacher burnout is one of the biggest concerns among all educatorswhile there are no many studies dealing with this phenomenon especially in Iran.Whether a teacher is teaching elementary, secondary or tertiary, in one way oranother it will hunt him/her down. The only thing any teacher can do is to prevent
4and stop teacher burnout. On the other hand teaching is stressful and tasks andactivities add up every day The main component in carrying out learning andteaching process is the teacher and there is a general view that teacher burnout mayhave a negative impact on the teachers themselves leading, for instance, to emotionaland physical ill-health, and on the students as burnout teachers may be relativelyimpaired in the quality of teaching and commitment, may give less information andless praise and interact less work students. Teacher burnout is something that isbecoming more common as school budgets get tighter. Teachers are being asked todo more every single day. With these added responsibilities, many teachers find bythemselves tired and burned out.Review of the LiteratureMuch of the research in the area of burnout can be traced to Herbert Freudenberger, apsychologist practicing in New York during the 1960’s and 70’s. Freudenbergeremployed the term to describe the effects of overwork, exhaustion and frustrationthat he experienced while operating a free clinic for drug users and indigent persons.In 1974, this concept was first introduced by Freudenberger, he defined the problemas one of chronic exhaustion and frustration resulting from continued devotion to agoal or principle that has failed to produce a corresponding reward. It was defined aswearing down or wearing out of energy (Freudenberger & North, 1985). Some otherviews can be added to Freudenbergers to give an exact meaning the concept ofburnout. In accord with Pines and Aronson (1988) burnout is formally clarified andsubjectively experienced as a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustioncaused by long-term involvement in situation that are emotionally demanding. Theterm “burnout” originated during the 1960’s as a description of the effect of drugabuse on an individual (Capel, 1993 as cited in Landeche, 2009).Maslach is one of the pioneers in the study of teacher burnout. In 1981, Maslachdefined burnout as a syndrome characterized with disturbing physical and emotionalcharacteristics; she pointed out burnout as a condition characterized by emotionalexhaustion, depersonalization and loss of a sense of personal accomplishment. Thiscondition developed primarily in individuals who work in human servicesoccupations such as education, social work, police and emergency services. Burnout
5is manifested in the following ways: work overload, lack of control over one’s workenvironment, lack of community among teachers in the school, lack of fairness inwork assignments and the uneven distribution or absence of rewards (Maslach andJackson, 1981). Emotional Exhaustion Depersonalization Personal Accomplishment Figure 1. The Dimensions of Burnout (Sedgwick, 1998)Emotional Exhaustion (EE) shows the feelings of over extension and exhaustioncaused by daily work pressures, and conflicts with the colleagues.Depersonalization (DP) indicates to the developments of negative attitude andimpersonal responses towards the people with whom one works.Personal Accomplishment (PA) refers the sense of personal achievement,accompanied by self-esteem. It is inversely related with burnout.Burnout can be a fundamental cause of an endless list of bad side-effects, not only onthe person who suffer from this syndrome but also all will the people around him/herbe affected (Landeche, 2009). As mentioned earlier that a teacher is the maincomponent of teaching process; in order that when the teacher has this syndrome, thiswill make him/ her treat the students irrespectively and he/ she will not be able toperform a day-by-day duty supposedly.A variety of studies have been conducted to identify the causes associated with stressand burnout in teachers. Studies from Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, theNetherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have found similar causes ofburnout in professional educators (Coulter & Abney, 2009). There are a number ofstudies have been carried out dealing the burnout issue including many variables that
6may affect on the level of burnout among teachers such age, gender, marital status,level of education, teaching level, teaching experience, and job satisfaction. Thefocus of this paper is only on the gender and marital status on burnout.As mention above, besides large volume of studies about the etiology of stress, therewere also many studies on demographic data relating to stress. The most commonvariables for study are gender, marital status, teaching experiences, educational level,professional and religious backgrounds. The findings of Maslach, Jackson, and Leiter(1996) studies among human service professionals including teachers indicated thatfemale staff had higher emotional exhaustion than male colleagues. In 2003, Mendesinvestigated the relationship between emotional intelligence and teacher burnoutamong 49 credentialed secondary teachers. Mendes found that with more experience,teachers were better at identifying emotions. Similarity, Lau, Yuen, and Chan (2005)explored the relationship between teachers’ demographic variables and burnout byusing the C-MBI questionnaire among 1797 participants from 45 secondary schoolsin Hong Kong. Gender differences were found in all three burnout syndromes, andteachers who were younger, unmarried, without religious beliefs, less experienced,without finishing professional training and of junior rank were more consistentlyburned-out. While, the strongest predictor for emotional exhaustion anddepersonalization was age, teachers’ rank is the best predictor for personalaccomplishment.In addition, Li, Yang and Shen (2007) examined the relationship between teachers’sense of teaching efficacy and job burnout. Li employed the Teachers’ Sense ofTeaching Efficacy Scale and the C-MBI questionnaire, as well. These instrumentswere administered among 247 secondary school teachers. The teachers performancerevealed that teachers’ length of teaching and marital status have significant effectson their personal teaching efficacy, depersonalization and reduced personalaccomplishment.However, there were also some inconsistent findings relating to relationship amongthe demographic variables and level of burnout among teachers. For instance,Holloman (1999) explored what personal and school-related variables were
7associated with 383 first-year school teacher burnout. Based on the Hollomansfindings, no statically significant differences were found between areas of burnoutand the variables of: gender, age and marital status. Likewise, the exploring studyadministrated by Zhao and Bi (2003) in a sample of 190 secondary school teachers inChinese Mainland. The results concluded that there was no difference between thegenders in the three burnout syndromes.A meta-analysis by Weng (2005) in 35 US research studies with K-12 teacherpopulations indicated that all of the variables of human characteristics included in thedemographics of the selected studies did not have very strong predictive correlationswith burnout. That means a single factor, such as gender, cannot be used to predict ifa person would be more than others susceptible to three dimensions of burnout.A study was done among special head-teachers and teachers in Turkey (entitled ananalysis of burnout and job satisfaction among Turkish special school head-teachersand teachers, and the factors effecting their burnout and job satisfaction) by Sari in2004. Sari reported that female teachers scored high emotional exhaustion than male.On the other hand, male teachers scored high depersonalization than their femalecolleagues (2004). Simultaneously, the study elaborated that there was no significantdifference between two genders in terms of personal accomplishment. This study’sresults supported by the Dali study’s findings were done in Turkey among primaryschool teachers in 2004. Dali (2004) reported that there was no significant differencebetween male and female primary school teachers in terms of all burnout dimensions.While, Lance Hogan and McKnight (2007) conducted the same study on universityonline instructors in which female instructors revealed higher level in three burnoutdimensions than male counterpart.Al-Qaryoti & Al-Khateeb (2006) carried out a study among 447 teachers (129 male,318 female) in Jordon. They revealed that there was no a significant differencebetween teachers in burnout level according to the gender, while there was arelationship between teaching salary satisfaction and their burnout. In terms ofmarried status, the results indicated that being married or not didn’t affect on the levelof burnout of teachers.
8Luk (2009) in his study among teachers of two schools in Macau experiencedrelatively average burnout which coincided with the findings in Hong Kong. Lukreported that female teachers scored high emotional exhaustion than male, and on theother hand, male teachers scored high depersonalization than their female colleagues(2009). These findings added on the data base for comparison internationally amongthe Chinese population. The findings identified those with greater degree of burnout,to whom more attention should be paid.As mentioned earlier, burnout can be a fundamental cause of an endless list of badside-effects; on the other hand a teacher is the main component of teaching process.In addition, gender, marital status, teaching experiences, educational level,professional and religious backgrounds are the most common variables for burnoutstudy. Whereby there are no many studies dealing with this phenomenon especiallyamong English teachers in Iran, and also in accord with the researcher specialization,the main purpose of the current study is to investigate the effects of gender andmarital status on levels of burnouts among English teachers in Iran. Likewise, thespecific objectives of this paper are as following: 1. To determine gender differences in level of burnout among English teacher. 2. To determine marital status differences in level of burnout among English teacherMethod and Materials:ParticipantThe population for this descriptive study was English teachers in Tehran, Iran whowere randomly selected among 50 secondary schools. All the English teachers whoemployed at the secondary school in were contacted via e-mail, were invited toparticipate in the study. The researcher explained to the participants what thisinstrument is and how to fill the items properly. The data was collected bydistributing the self administered MBI questionnaire among the participants andcollected back by the respective school general offices within January 2010. Totally100 English teachers participated in the study. All participants in the study wereIranian citizens who the majority of them (83%) holding a bachelor’s degree fromuniversity and the rest were holding master degree. Of the 100 English teachers who
9completed the inventory, all completed the inventory correctly and there was nomissing. Fifty percent of participants were female and 50% were male who 82percent of the whole population was married and 18 percent were single. The ageranged from 25 to over 40 years with a mean age of 33 years, and had been in theteaching profession for an average of 9 years. In this study, all of English teacherswere employed at secondary schools in the Tehran, Iran.InstrumentBurnout in respondents was measured on one occasion using the Educator Surveyversion of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996). TheMaslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is the predominant instrument used to assessburnout in teachers and educational administrators (Maslach, Jackson & Schwab,1986). The MBI consists of 22 item self-report instrument that describing thefeelings an individual might have as a result of being over-stressed or burned out;this instrument consisting of three subscales: Emotional Exhaustion (EE with nineitems), Depersonalization (DP with five items), and Personal Accomplishment (PAwith eight items).Participants respond on a seven-point frequency rating scale, and their numericalvalues are as follows: 0 = Never; 1 = A few times a year or less; 2 = Once a month orless; 3 = A few times a month; 4 = Once a week; to 5 = A few times a week; and 6 =Everyday. High scores on the EE and DP subscales and low scores on the PAsubscale are characteristic of burnout. Feelings of low personal achievement can leadto burnout. Reliability coefficients for the Educator Survey version of the MBI havebeen reported by Pierce & Molloy (1990) as .89 for EE, .71 for DP, and .81 for PAfor a large sample of Australian secondary school teachers (N = 750). In the presentstudy the corresponding coefficient alpha scores were .87 for EE, .79 for DP, and .71for PA.The demographics of the English teachers were provided by a demographicquestionnaire representing the participants age, gender, marital status, educationallevel, teacher experience and so on.
10Results and Findings:SPSS Statistics software version 16.0 was used to analyze the data which wasinterpreted according to the variables. Since the main purpose of the study was todetermine whether there was a statistically significant difference between the genderand marital status overall burnout level among English teachers, descriptivestatistics, t-test and Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the data.To study the level of different burnout syndromes of the participants, the means andstandard deviations of the three burnout syndromes were calculated. The mean scoresfor emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment are 15.71(SD = 14.84), 3.58 (SD = 5.93) and 35.11 (SD = 13.54), respectively. Dimension ofburnout as displayed in following table are significantly high since the significant p.000 is less than 0.05 among all participants who are in the high level intervals.Table.1. Statistics and one-sample t-test for burnout dimension 95%Burnout N Mean SD t df sig. Confidence Interval Lower UpperEmotional Exhaustion 100 15.71 14.84 -56.77 99 .000 -87.23 -81.34Depersonalization 100 3.85 5.93 -162.01 99 .000 -97.32 -94.97Personal Accomplishment 100 35.11 13.54 -47.89 99 .000 -67.57 -62.2In order to determine whether gender and marital status represent significant ofemotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment, one-sample t-test was employed. The obtained data as can be seen in following tables:Table.2. The relationship between gender and the level of burnout among English teachers Personal Emotional Exhaustion Depersonalization AccomplishmentGender N Mean SD N Mean SD N Mean SDFemale 50 9.46 11.12 50 1.72 4.69 50 39.46 9.92Male 50 21.96 15.54 50 5.98 6.31 50 30.76 15.28
11Table.3. The relationship between marital status and the level of burnout among English teachers Personal Emotional Exhaustion Depersonalization AccomplishmentStatus N Mean SD N Mean SD N Mean SDMarried 82 16.01 16.15 82 4.34 6.38 82 34.56 14.58Single 18 14.33 6.11 18 1.61 2.11 18 37.61 6.86The scores obtained from each sex had also been scooped to be elaborated withreferences to burnout dimensions as presented in the above tables. The mean offemale teacher performance is decreased in two out of three subscales of burnout (EEand DP), while the mean of this group is increased in personal accomplishmentsubscale rather than males group. One way ANOVA test was used to study theeffects of demographic variables with teacher burnout. The demographic variablesincluding the participants’ gender and marital status were regarded as independentvariables while the three burnout syndromes as dependent variables. The one-wayANOVA procedure is employed to find out any significant difference betweengender and level of burnout.Table 4. The ANOVA results on the effects of gender on burnout dimensions Sum of Mean Source df F Sig. Squares Square Emotional Exhaustion Between Groups 3906.250 1 3906.250 21.371 .000 Within Groups 17912.340 98 182.779 Depersonalization Between Groups 453.690 1 453.690 14.659 .000 Within Groups 3033.060 98 30.950 Personal Accomplishment Between Groups 1892.250 1 1892.250 11.392 .001 Within Groups 18169.790 98 166.097With reference to table 4, the results of the gender and levels of the burnout indicatedthat there is a significant effects for two groups of gender across three dimensionlevels of burnout (F = 21.371, p< .05) (F =14.659, p< .05) (F =11.392, p< .05).Finally, both females and males display to have suffering from burnout.
12At the same time, the same analytic tool is conducted on marital status and levels ofburnout. The results showed that teacher who are married have the same feeling withteacher who are singles. On the other hand, the Table 5, it displayed that there is nomain effect of the married or single teacher’ performance and levels of burnout (F=.187, p> .05) (F =3.193, p> .05) (F =.746, p> .05).Table 5. The ANOVA results on the effects of marital status on burnout dimensions Sum of Mean Source df F Sig. Squares Square Emotional Exhaustion Between Groups 41.602 1 41.602 .187 .666 Within Groups 21776.988 98 222.214 Depersonalization Between Groups 110.033 1 110.033 3.193 .077 Within Groups 3376.717 98 34.456 Personal Accomplishment Between Groups 137.317 1 137.317 .746 .390 Within Groups 18032.473 98 184.005Based on the above results, it is noticed that there is no significant difference betweenmarried and single teachers on emotional exhaustion level, depersonalization andpersonal accomplishment levels.Conclusion and RecommendationMale and female teachers represent the level of burnout and that perhaps becausethey have other responsibilities towards their families (children, husband andhousework). In addition, perhaps because they care too much about their students andwant everything perfect which stress them too much. The findings indicated that thereis no a significant difference between male and female and these findings issupported by Coulter and Abney study in 2009, who also reported that there is no asignificant difference between two genders and rate of burnout. Similarity, this paperis correlated to Comber and Cormack (2007) research. Comber stated that genderdoesn’t effect on the level of burnout among teacher. Whereas, the finding in thisstudy didnt support Capel (1992), Formanuik (1995) and Davis and Wilson (2000),who reported that the level of stress led to burnout among female teacher more thanamong male teachers, because male teachers seemed to experience less stress than did
13female teachers and also to have less teaching responsibilities. Similarity, the resultdidnt concurs with Byrne (1998), who emphasized that the causes leading to burnoutaffect male teachers more than the female teachers who have higher motivation.However, there was no significant difference between the males and females, interms of their gender, on burnout levels.The present study also showed that there is no significant difference between marriedand single teachers. This result supported Evans (2001) and Weng (2005) studies,who reported that teachers’ gender did not have an effect on level of burnout.The present study also showed that there is no a significant difference betweenmarried and single teachers, and this findings was in accord with findings ofAl-Qaryooti& Al-Khadeeb (2006) also who reported that being married or notdoesn’t effect on the level of burnout among Arab teachers even though they usedteachers who teach handicapped students.For further studies, it can be recommended to conduct training programs to see itseffects on the level of burnout among teachers with different years of teachingexperience, educational levels or job satisfaction. Moreover, it is suggested that theburnout research can be carried out by a large sampling size including teachers whoteach in other subjects or live in other cities, countries or for those teachers havechildren with and without babysitter to see whether this factor affects the results or not.References Al-Qaryoti & Al-Khateeb (2006). Jamming visual culture. Literacy Learning in the Middle Years 11, no. 2: 15–21. Byrne, John J. (1998). Burnout: Its Causes, Effects and Remedies. Contemporary Education 69(2): 86–91. Capel, S. A. (1993). Stress and burnbout in teachers, European Journal of Teacher Education, 15(3), 197–211. Comber, B., and P. Cormack. (2007). Constituting the teacher of reading in contemporary Australian literacy debates. In Reading Across International Boundaries: History, Policy and Politics, ed. P. Openshaw and J. Soler. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
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