An exploratory study of the relationship of demographic and personality factors to burnout in high school teachers in the Pietermaritzburg area.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of certain demographic and personality factors to the experience of burnout in teachers. A number of other studies recommended the investigation of these variables as possible factors influencing burnout. Using a sample of 141 teachers from both Private and State schools in the Pietermaritzburg area, certain variables were investigated. The demographic factors included age, gender, marital status, number of children, class size, and type of school. The personality factors included five factors of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience and Agreeableness, as measured on the Neo-Five Factor Inventory. Burnout was measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory. A Correlation Matrix was used to determine the relationship of the demographic and personality factors to the dimensions of burnout. A Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis was done to determine which factors related best to the dimensions of burnout. Results indicated that certain aspects of personality and demographic variables such as Neuroticism, Extraversion, age, marital status, number of children, type of school, and class size were significantly related to the components of burnout. The research findings indicated that younger teachers are more prone to burnout than older teachers; that single teachers experience more stress and burnout than married teachers; and that having children acts as a buffer against stress and burnout. Male and females did not appear to differ in their experience of burnout. Of the personality variables explored, people scoring high on Neuroticism and low on Extraversion were found to be prone to burnout.