Emotional labour, burnout and job satisfaction in UK teachers: the role of workplace social support
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AbstractAlthough teaching has been described as a profoundly emotional activity, little is known about the emotional demands faced by teachers or how this impacts on their well-being. This study examined relationships between ‘emotional labour’, burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and personal accomplishment) and job satisfaction in a sample of UK teachers. Also examined was whether workplace social support moderated any relationships found between emotional labour and strain. The relationship between job experience and emotional labour was also investigated. Six hundred and twenty-eight teachers working in secondary schools in the UK completed questionnaires. Significant associations were observed between emotional labour and all outcomes, with a positive relationship found between emotional labour and personal accomplishment. Some evidence was found that social support mitigates the negative impact of emotional demands on emotional exhaustion, feelings of personal accomplishment and job satisfaction. More experienced teachers reported higher levels of emotional labour. Findings highlight the need for teacher-training programmes to raise awareness of the emotional demands of teaching and consider ways to enhance emotion regulation skills in experienced as well as recently qualified staff.
CitationKinman, G., Wray, S. & Strange, C. (2011) 'Emotional labour, burnout and job satisfaction in UK teachers: The role of workplace social support', Educational Psychology, 31 (7), pp.843-856.
PublisherTaylor & Francis