Congrats to Gail Swingler who successfully defended her pilot project titled “Teacher Burnout and Depression as Potentially Overlapping Conditions A Meta-Analytic Review.”
Abstract: Burnout has long been recognized as a workplace problem (Maslach et al., 1984) with high rates of burnout occurring in teachers (Quattrin et al., 2010, Shakula & Trivedi, 2008; Li et al., 2020). Burnout researchers tend to regard burnout as a construct that is separate from depression (Bakker et al., 2000). However, recent evidence indicates that burnout may lack discriminant validity vis-à-vis depression (Schonfeld et al, 2019a,b). A small-scale random effects meta-analysis was performed to examine the extent of the overlap between the constructs of burnout and depression in teachers. The relationship between the subcomponents of burnout (as defined by Maslach et al., 1984) and depression were examined in 11 primary studies involving 11,729 educational staff members, and 49 effect sizes. The findings indicate that depression was more closely related to emotional exhaustion (r =0.68, disattenuated r = 0.76), considered to be the “core of burnout” (Maslach & Jackson, 1986), than to either of the other two putative components of burnout, depersonalization (r = 0.45) and reduced personal accomplishment (|r| = 0.40). Emotional exhaustion and depression were also more strongly related than any of the inter-relationships among the subscales of burnout; emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, (r = 0.52), emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment, (|r| = 0.41), and depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment, (|r| =0.43). Disattentuated correlations provide stronger indications of the discrepancies in these relationships. These findings suggest that the hypothesis that burnout is a construct that is separate from depression needs to be re-evaluated, particularly with respect to educational staff. As burnout is not currently a clinically diagnosable disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5, 2013) the suggested re-examination of burnout’s classification status may give increased diagnostic and treatment options for teachers suffering from burnout. Structural and systemic changes are still recommended to reduce the incidence of burnout in teachers.
Committee Chair: Dr. Schonfeld, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, The City College of the City University of New York, and Emeritus of Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center
Dr. Verkuilen, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, CUNY Graduate Center
Dr. Bianchi, Ambizione Researcher (Swiss National Science Foundation), Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchâtel