Burnout and emotional experience in professional educators
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Aim: This investigation deals with burnout processes and the associated emotional experience patterns in professional educators. The importance of emotions is underlined by the fact that emotions changes the readiness to act (Frijda, 1986). Each emotion is connected with certain kinds of behavior (e.g. disgust with reject of an object or fear with avoidance). Just burnout processes from the educators’ emotional experience point of view become a significant role, because certain emotions are linked with the two most important stages in burnout processes, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (Burisch, 2010). These aspects are able to become meaningful, because educators have to get in relation with learners and people. On account of these emotions have an effect on educational behavior processes. Method: A sample of nursery and primary school teachers as well as social educators were recruited and assessed with psychometric questionnaires (Maslach Burnout Inventory - MBI, Emotional Experience and Regulation Questionnaire - EER). Results: Data (N=148) evidences significant positive relations between emotional exhaustion and anxiety, grief, contempt, anger, guilt, shame as well as lifelessness and negative correlations between emotional exhaustion and interest. Significant positive correlations were calculated between depersonalization and shame, contempt, irritability, disgust and negative correlations between depersonalization and interest as well as happiness. Conclusions: Results indicate that consulting emotional experiences in burnout processes is useful: First results improve theoretical considerations concerning burnout models (e.g. Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Freudenberger & North, 1992) and second it can be helpful for explaining educators’ behavior in burnout processes.