Date of Award

6-12-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah L. Cook - Chair

Second Advisor

Leslie Jackson

Third Advisor

Greg Jurkovic

Fourth Advisor

Joel Meyers

Abstract

School violence is considered the most significant problem facing United States schools (Elam, Rose, & Gallup, 1999, 2003, 2004). Although school shootings receive the bulk of media attention, incidents such as physical assaults, property crimes, intimidation, and sexual harassment are much more common (National Center for Education Statistics, 2004). In addition, little is known about the experiences of teachers. The present study examines the relationship between various types of school violence and teacher burnout. The final sample consisted of 315 high school teachers who returned surveys that assessed knowledge of direct and indirect experiences with violent acts at school over the past 12 months. Respondents also completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory. A series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses was used to determine how much variance in three domains of professional burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment) was accounted for by direct and indirect experiences with violence. Results suggest 1) that teachers experience and witness a broad range of violent acts (particularly sexual harassment) in their workplaces, and 2) that direct and indirect exposure to both physical and psychological forms of violence resulted in higher emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Implications are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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