Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Teacher burnout is a term used to describe teachers' feelings and attitudes about themselves in relationship to their work. It has been considered a problem and a contagion. This study was the initial basic research on teacher burnout conducted in North Dakota.

Purpose of the Study. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which the burnout syndrome exists among North Dakota public school classroom teachers, the significant factors which affect it, and the determination of whether significant relationships exist between and/or among ten demographic variables.

Design of the Study.The Maslach Burnout Inventory and the demographic data sheet were mailed to 350 randomly selected public school classroom teachers throughout North Dakota during the 1980-81 school year. Correlation coefficients, multiple linear regressions, and analyses of variance were employed. The .05 level of significance was considered statistically sufficient to reject the null hypotheses.

Conclusions. The major conclusions are as follows: (1) Based on the limitations of the instruments used, it cannot be concluded whether North Dakota public school classroom teachers are burned out. The instruments do help to clarify greater and lesser degrees of feeling burned out. The data suggest that there are indicators of burnout which teachers could identify; (2) It appears that the emotional exhaustion factor, the depersonalization factor, and the personal accomplishment factor were major contributors to the burnout syndrome; (3) The level of teaching and the sex of teachers were found to be significantly different on the four burnout factors more frequently than other demographic variables; (4) Other demographic variables which have a lesser impact upon the burnout syndrome included number of years of teaching experience, salary, educational background, number of dependents, and size of community; (5) While marital status was not individually a statistically significant variable, its contribution in a set of variables was significant, indicating a suppressor relationship; (6) The teacher's age and the average number of students in the classroom apparently do not have a significant impact upon the burnout syndrome; (7) Teachers perceived more problems in their relationships with their administrators than they did with their students.