Gender, tenure status, teacher efficacy, perfectionism and teacher burnout

Victoria Comerchero, Fordham University


Teacher burnout has been identified as a serious issue within the public school teacher population. The consequences of teacher burnout are witnessed on the student, teacher, and societal level. While the correlates and consequences of teacher burnout have been studied, few investigations have examined combinations of demographic and interpersonal variables in predicting teacher burnout. The study was designed to examine if the combination of teachers' gender, tenure status, teacher efficacy, adaptive perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism predicted significant variation in teachers' emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment levels. Teacher efficacy had previously shown negative relationships to teacher burnout, but only explained some of the variance in burnout. Perfectionism variables (adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism) were identified as personality characteristics that could interact with stressors to influence burnout. Additionally, the current study examined whether perfectionism variables moderated the relationship between teacher efficacy and teacher burnout. Teachers from three local school districts were recruited to participate in the current study (N = 285) by completing the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES), The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale, and the Almost Perfect Scale Revised (APS-R). Correlational analyses revealed that being female was positively associated with higher Emotional Exhaustion (EE) scores as well as higher teacher efficacy levels. Females also had lower maladaptive perfectionism scores. Tenure status was negatively correlated with Depersonalization (DP) and positively correlated with Personal Accomplishment (PA). Tenured teachers also showed higher levels of adaptive perfectionism and lower levels of maladaptive perfectionism. Adaptive perfectionism was negatively related to DP and positively related to PA. Maladaptive perfectionism was positively correlated with EE and negatively related to PA. The results of three hierarchical regression analyses suggested that the combination of demographic and main independent variables accounted for significant propitiations of the variance in EE, DP, and PA. Teacher efficacy, adaptive perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism produced the most significant changes in variance with gender and tenure showing less influence. Adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism did not significantly moderate the relationship between teacher efficacy and any of the three teacher burnout dimensions (EE, DP or PA).

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Comerchero, Victoria, "Gender, tenure status, teacher efficacy, perfectionism and teacher burnout" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3302113.