Burnout among Hungarian teachers: its association with life satisfaction and psychosomatic health

  • M. Mihálka
  • B. Pikó


Background: Teaching is a stressful occupation. Not surprisingly, burnout syndrome among teachers is also common and a great challenge since it may have many negative consequences, such as professional dissatisfaction, absenteeism, health problems, job stress, depression and lower involvement in school work. The main goal of the present study was to detect burnout syndrome in the Hungarian teacher population and analyze its relationship with life satisfaction and psychosomatic health. Methods: A representative sample of Hungarian teachers (N = 2062, aged between 23-74 years, mean = 48.1 and S.D. = 8.9; 83% females) was applied. Burnout was measured by Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey. The questionnaire also included the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and other health-related items. Findings: Burnout syndrome was more characteristic of male teachers, particularly depersonalization (p < 0.001) and lack of personal accomplishment (p < 0.001). Surprisingly, these two subscales showed higher levels among younger teachers. All of the subscales were associated with a lower perception of one’s own health and satisfaction with life as well as more psychosomatic symptoms. Furthermore, depersonalization was related to the frequency of alcohol use. Discussion: Finding suggest that the risk of burnout syndrome is higher for male and younger teachers. As it seems they do not have the appropriate coping skills to prevent it. Burnout is associated with lower level of life satisfaction but more psychosomatic symptoms, health problems and substance use. Developing effective intervention should be necessary to map and handle job stress and prevent burnout.
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