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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Teachers’ emotion regulation as a protective factor against burnout Miller, Miriam


Burnout, a phenomenon which involves emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, is one reason that many educators report leaving the teaching profession. Many of the risk factors associated with burnout have been explored at great length but very little attention has been paid to the protective factors that might mitigate burnout. Accordingly, this study examined the role emotion regulation, both the general knowledge of emotion regulation skills and the reported use of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, two common emotion regulation strategies, plays in relation to job satisfaction and burnout. Participants were 233 K-12 teachers who were enrolled in the Summer Principals Academy graduate program for aspiring teacher leaders at Teacher College, Columbia University, between 2008 and 2012. Participants completed self-reported measures regarding their use of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, job satisfaction and two aspects of burnout (personal accomplishment and emotional exhaustion). Participants also completed a performance measure of Emotional Intelligence, which included a knowledge test of overall emotion regulation ability. Results of simultaneous hierarchical regression analyses indicated that, contrary to hypotheses, emotion regulation was not, a protective factor against teachers’ experience of burnout in the present sample. The study begs replication, however, as the present sample was not fully representative of the general teaching population (i.e., participants were highly satisfied with their jobs and were studying to become school administrators).

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