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Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

A longitudinal study of teacher burnout and perceived

self-e$cacy in classroom management
AndreH Brouwers*, Welko Tomic
Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, P.O. Box 2960 NL-6401 DL Heerlen, Netherlands
Received 23 October 1998; received in revised form 17 June 1999; accepted 8 July 1999


This study examined the direction and time-frame of relationships between perceived self-e$cacy in classroom
management and the three dimensions of burnout among 243 secondary school teachers. Structural equation modeling
(SEM) analyses indicated that perceived self-e$cacy had a longitudinal e!ect on depersonalization and a synchronous
e!ect on personal accomplishment. However, the direction was reversed for the relationship between perceived
self-e$cacy and emotional exhaustion; the time frame was synchronous. It was concluded that perceived self-e$cacy in
classroom management must be taken into consideration when devising interventions both to prevent and to treat
burnout among secondary school teachers. ( 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Burnout; Self-e$cacy; Longitudinal studies; Secondary school teachers

1. Introduction 1993, pp. 20, 21). Reduced personal accomplish-

ment is described as `a person's negative self-evalu-
Burnout is described as `a psychological syn- ation in relation to his or her job performancea
drome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, (Schaufeli, Maslach & Marek, 1993, p. 17). The
and reduced personal accomplishment that can oc- social relationships with the people in profes-
cur among individuals who work with other people sionals' care are the most obvious characteristic of
in some capacity. Emotional exhaustion refers to occupations wherein burnout is an issue. A social
feelings of being emotionally overextended and de- psychological perspective which focuses on these
pleted of one's emotional resources. Depersonaliz- relationships can be very useful in acquiring
ation refers to a negative, callous, or excessively a closer understanding of burnout (Van Dieren-
detached response to other people, who are usually donck, Schaufeli & Sixma, 1994).
the recipients of one's services or carea (Maslach, Burnout is a phenomenon of dramatic import-
ance in education. The demands made on second-
ary school teachers consist to a substantial
extent of emotionally charged relationships with
* Corresponding author. Tel.: #31-45-5762-617; fax: #31- students. In a study of over 5,000 American and
45-5762-939. Canadian teachers, 63% reported student disci-
E-mail address: (A. Brouwers) pline problems as the most stressful factors in their

0742-051X/00/$ - see front matter ( 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 7 4 2 - 0 5 1 X ( 9 9 ) 0 0 0 5 7 - 8
240 A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

work environment (Kuzsman & Schnall, 1987). the motivation of people to persist in the face of
Relatedly, interaction research during classroom obstacles, (3) they in#uence how people feel them-
instruction reveals that student disruptive behavior selves when they attempt to reach their goals, and
has a positive e!ect on teacher burnout (Burke, (4) they in#uence the situations people select in
Greenglass & Schwarzer, 1996; Friedman, 1995; terms of their challenge.
Lamude, Scudder & Furno-Lamude, 1992; Byrne, Self-e$cacy theory has inspired a tremendous
1991; Hock, 1988). For this reason it is advisable to body of research on the treatment of emotional and
pay attention to teacher}student relationships in behavioral problems, such as anxiety and phobic
studying teacher burnout. dysfunctions, depression, eating disorders, and
Bandura's theory of perceived self-e$cacy alcohol and drug abuse (Bandura, 1997). The
(Bandura, 1977,1986,1997) is a usable conceptual theory has also applications in organizational, ath-
framework for studying the impact of emotionally letic, health-promoting, and educational settings.
charged relationships on burnout (Leiter, 1992; An example of an application in occupational psy-
Cherniss, 1993; Brouwers & Tomic, 1998). Per- chology is a program which reduces absenteeism
ceived self-e$cacy refers to `beliefs in one's capabil- through development of self-regulatory e$cacy
ities to organize and execute the courses of action (Frayne & Latham, 1987).
required to produce given attainmentsa (Bandura,
1997, p. 3). The power of this theory is that it 1.1. Teacher ezcacy
integrates in one conceptual framework the origins
or sources of e$cacy beliefs, their structure and Teacher e$cacy has been de"ned as `the extent
function, the processes through which they produce to which the teacher believes he or she has the
diverse e!ects, and the possibilities for change capacity to a!ect student performancea (Bergman,
(Bandura, 1997). McLaughlin, Bass, Pauly & Zellman, 1977, p. 137),
Self-e$cacy beliefs are the result of learning pro- or as `teachers' belief or conviction that they can
cesses. Social relationships play an important role in#uence how well students learn, even those who
in these learning processes, which are based on four may be di$cult or unmotivateda (Guskey &
di!erent sources of information (Bandura, 1997): (1) Passaro, 1994, p. 4). In a review of empirical studies
enactive mastery experiences that serve as direct on teacher e$cacy, Ross (1998) showed that teacher
indicators of capabilities, (2) vicarious experiences e$cacy predicts a multitude of critically important
that alter e$cacy beliefs by observing other people variables. Examples include student achievement
performing similar tasks, (3) verbal persuasion in and motivation (Bergman et al., 1977; Moore &
which others can guide individuals to believe in Esselman, 1992), student self-esteem and prosocial
their own capabilities, and (4) physiological arousal attitudes (Borton, 1991; Cheung & Cheng, 1997),
that indicate's one's vulnerability to dysfunction. school e!ectiveness (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993),
Self-e$cacy beliefs vary along three dimensions teachers' adoption of innovations (Fuchs, Fuchs
(Bandura, 1997; Maddux, 1995): (1) magnitude, & Bishop, 1992), the success of program implemen-
which refers to the level a person believes tation (Guskey, 1988), teachers' referral decisions
him/herself capable of performing, (2) generality, for special education (Meijer & Foster, 1988;
which refers to the extent to which changes in Soodak & Podell, 1993), teachers' professional
self-e$cacy beliefs extend to other behaviors and commitment (Coladarci, 1992), teachers' classroom
situations, and (3) strength, which refers to the management strategies (Woolfolk, Roso! & Hoy,
resoluteness of people's convictions that he/she can 1990), teacher absenteeism (Imants & Van Zoelen,
perform a behavior in question. 1995), and teacher stress (Bliss & Finneran, 1991;
Self-e$cacy beliefs in#uence human functioning Parkay, Greenwood, Olejnik & Proller, 1988). The
through four mediating processes (Bandura, 1997; concept of teacher e$cacy is also studied in relation
Maddux, 1995): (1) they in#uence the goals people to teacher burnout, the topic of the present study.
set for themselves and the strategies people envi- Besides such variables as internal rewards and
sion for attaining these goals, (2) they in#uence support from principal and peers, Brissie,
A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253 241

Hoover-Dempsey and Bassler (1988), found that ternal control. The RAND organization, which "rst
teacher e$cacy predicts teachers' level of burnout. conducted research on teacher e$cacy, developed
Teachers with a low sense of e$cacy are also found two items to measure a teacher's locus of control
to be the ones most likely to drop out of the (Armor et al., 1976). The statement that indicates
teaching profession (Glickman & Tamashiro, that environmental factors overwhelm a teacher's
1982). power to in#uence student learning was labeled
Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy and Hoy `general teaching e$cacya. The other, labeled
(1998) proposed an integrated model which re#ects `personal teaching e$cacy,a indicates the import-
the cyclical nature of teacher e$cacy. Within this ance of a teacher's abilities to overcome factors that
model, teachers' e$cacy judgements are the result could make learning di$cult for students. In the
of the interaction between a personal appraisal of course of time several other instruments were de-
the relative importance of factors that make teach- veloped to measure teacher e$cacy in the Rotter
ing di$cult on the one hand and an assessment of tradition, including Teacher Locus of Control
self-perceptions of personal teaching capabilities on (Rose & Medway, 1981), Responsibility for Student
the other. To make these assessments, teachers Achievement (Guskey, 1981), and the Webb E$-
draw information from four sources: enactive cacy Scale (Ashton, Olejnik, Crocker & McAuli!e,
mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal 1982).
persuasion, and physiological arousal. The conse- The second strand of research on teacher e$cacy
quences of teacher e$cacy*the goals teachers set was grounded in Bandura's social cognitive theory
for themselves, the e!ort they put into reaching and his construct of self-e$cacy (Bandura, 1977).
these goals, and their persistence when facing di$- Several measures grew out of this tradition, includ-
culties*in#uence teachers' performance levels, ing the Teacher E$cacy Scale (Gibson & Dembo,
which in turn serve as new sources of e$cacy in- 1984), the Science Teaching E$cacy Belief Instru-
formation. The cyclical nature of teacher e$cacy ment (Riggs & Enochs, 1990), the Ashton Vignettes
implies that lower levels of e$cacy lead to lower (Ashton, Buhr & Crocker, 1984), and the Teacher
levels of e!ort and persistence, which lead to a de- Self-E$cacy Scale (Bandura, 1990). Both Ashton
terioration in performance, which in turn lead to and Webb (1986) and Gibson and Dembo (1984)
lower e$cacy. In their study on teachers' suggested that the meaning of the two RAND items
self-e$cacy in classroom management, Brouwers as well as that of the two dimensions of the Teacher
and Tomic (1998) found evidence to support E$cacy Scale*the most used measure to assess
such a cyclical model: high levels of student disrup- teacher e$cacy*re#ect the two expectancies of
tive behavior lead to a low level of teachers' Bandura's social cognitive theory, self-e$cacy and
self-e$cacy in classroom management, which outcome expectancies. However, after performing
lead to a higher level of teacher burnout, which in factor analysis on an e$cacy questionnaire adapted
turn leads to a higher level of student disruptive from Gibson and Dembo, Guskey and Passaro
behavior further reducing the level of teachers' (1994) found no evidence in favor of this distinction,
self-e$cacy. but instead a simpler internal versus external di-
With respect to the meaning and measurement of chotomy. Within Guskey and Passaro's (1994) con-
the concept of teacher e$cacy, two strands of re- ceptualization, the internal dimension refers to the
search can be identi"ed (Tschannen-Moran et al., extent that teachers believe that they have personal
1998). The "rst is grounded in Rotter's social learn- in#uence, power, and impact on student learning
ing theory of internal versus external control whereas the external re#ects teachers' perceptions
(Rotter, 1966). Teachers who believe that they are of the in#uence, power, and impact of factors out-
competent to teach di$cult or unmotivated stu- side the classroom. Guskey (1998) stated that this
dents were considered to have internal control, internal/external distinction is not the same as that
whereas teachers who believe that the environment of locus of control measures because the two
has more in#uence on student learning than their teacher e$cacy factors are distinct and operate
own teaching abilities were considered to have ex- fairly independently.
242 A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

In order to develop a measure which better re- attaining a comfortable classroom environment as
#ects the domain of classroom management, an invaluable outcome of their e!orts.
Emmer and Hickman (1991) have added to the People who doubt their abilities in a particular
original Gibson and Dembo instrument a third domain of activity are quick to consider such activ-
scale which they derived from `current conceptual- ities as threats, which they prefer to avoid
izationsa of classroom management (Doyle, 1986). (Bandura, 1997). Teachers who distrust their ability
Factor analysis indicated that the classroom man- to maintain classroom order cannot avoid this key
agement e$cacy subscale is distinct from the two factor of the job. Day in, day out, they must
other teacher e$cacy subscales. Although critics, continue to instruct students in order to reach
echoing Guskey and Passaro (1994), could state educational goals. Teachers who have no con"-
that this subscale re#ects an internal attribution dence in their classroom management abilities are
particular to the domain of classroom management confronted by their incompetence every day, while
rather than con"dence in the teachers' own abilities at the same time understanding how important that
to handle student disruptive behavior, inspection of competence is if they are to perform well and
the item's content reveals that most of the recom- achieve the educational goals. Furthermore, they
mendations to create self-e$cacy items were are likely to know that their colleagues routinely
complied (Forsyth & Carey, 1998; Maibach succeed in obtaining a comfortable classroom envi-
& Murphy, 1995). ronment (Metz, 1978).
Teachers who (1) distrust their classroom man-
1.2. Burnout and teacher self-ezcacy agement abilities under standard job conditions
in classroom management and (2) understand the importance of that compet-
ence, (3) cannot avoid the management tasks if they
An increasing number of researchers draw on are to reach the educational goals, and (4) are
self-e$cacy theory in their research on burnout. informed that colleagues routinely obtain a com-
Leiter (1992) stated that burnout is `a crisis in fortable learning environment, can easily su!er
self-e$cacy,a and Cherniss (1993) wrote about `the stress, exhaustion, and negative attitudes (Davies
role of professional self-e$cacy in the etiology and & Yates, 1982; Usaf & Kavanagh, 1990). Several
amelioration of burnouta. Van Yperen (1998), studies demonstrate that doubts about self-e$cacy
Leithwood, Menzies, Jantzi and Leithwood (1996), can in themselves trigger the burnout process.
and Rabinowitz, Kushnir and Ribak (1996) use Chwalisz, Altmaier and Russell (1992) found that
self-e$cacy theory in empirical research on burn- teachers who score low in self-e$cacy reported
out. Self-e$cacy theory has also been used by a higher degree of burnout than their counterparts
Chwalisz, Altmaier and Russell (1992) and by who score high in self-e$cacy. Greenglass and
Brouwers and Tomic (1998) to study burnout Burke (1988) conclude that doubts about self-e$-
in educational settings. The latter authors focused cacy contributed signi"cantly to the development
on teacher-perceived self-e$cacy in classroom of burnout among male teachers. The more speci"c
management, de"ned as teachers' beliefs in relationship between teachers' perceived self-e$-
their capabilities to organize and execute the cacy in classroom management and burnout has
courses of action required to maintain classroom been investigated as well. Friedman and Farber
order. (1992) found that teachers who considered them-
The ability to control students in a classroom is selves less competent in classroom management
a critical factor in any educational setting. After all, and discipline reported a higher level of burnout
if teachers do not react adequately to students than their counterparts who have more con"dence
when their behavior is disruptive, instructional in their competence in this regard.
time is lost for all students. In order to reach in- The present study examined the direction and
structional goals it is necessary for teachers to deal time frame of the relationships between perceived
adequately with disruptive behavior in classroom. self-e$cacy in classroom management and the
It may therefore be assumed that teachers perceive three dimensions of teacher burnout. The study
A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253 243

involved a sample of secondary school teachers 2.2. Measures

who were surveyed at two points in time with
a time lag of "ve months. The study attempts to The measures were used at Time 1 and 2.
respond the criticism of Guglielmi and Tatrow
(1998), who, after they had reviewed studies on 2.2.1. Burnout
teacher burnout, called for a methodological shift Burnout was measured using the Dutch version
toward longitudinal designs. This study aimed to of the Maslach Burnout Inventory for teachers
test the predictive value of self-e$cacy theory for (MBI-NL-Ed; Schaufeli & Van Horn, 1995;
the problem of teacher burnout, in order to deter- Schaufeli, Daamen & Van Mierlo, 1994; Maslach
mine the role of this theory in devising interven- & Jackson, 1981). The questionnaire includes 20
tions both to prevent and to treat burnout among items divided into three subscales: Emotional Ex-
secondary school teachers. haustion (EE; 8 items), Depersonalization (D;
5 items), and Personal Accomplishment (PA;
7 items). The items were measured on a 7-point
2. Method Likert scale, ranging from `nevera to `every daya.
Scores on the scales are added separately. High
2.1. Participants scores on the scales EE and D, and low scores on
the PA scale are indicative of burnout. Examples of
Participants were teachers working in secondary items are: `I feel emotionally drained from my
schools in the province of Limburg in the Nether- worka (EE), `I feel burned out from my worka (EE),
lands. Time 1 respondents (N"558) were those `I've become more callous toward people since
who participated during the "rst wave of data col- I took this joba (D), `I feel students blame me for
lection and who had completed the questionnaires. some of their problemsa (D), `I feel exhilarated after
They represented 48% of 1156 teachers asked to working closely with my recipientsa (PA), and `I
participate. Time 2 respondents (N"243) were have accomplished many worthwhile things in this
teachers from the Time 1 sample who participated joba (PA). In a study among secondary school
again at Time 2 and who had also completed the teachers (N"916), Schaufeli and Van Horn (1995)
questionnaires. The measurement points at Time found Cronbach's Alphas of 0.87, 0.71 and 0.78,
1 and 2 were October 1997 and March 1998, re- respectively. The three-factor structure of the
spectively, an interval of "ve months. Time 2 re- Dutch version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory
spondents consisted of 179 male (74%) and 64 for teachers is con"rmed with con"rmatory factor
female (26%) teachers. The average age was analysis (Schaufeli, Daamen & Van Mierlo, 1994).
46.29 yr (SD"8.20) with a range of 24}63 yr. The
average teaching experience in years was 21.25 2.2.2. Perceived self-ezcacy in classroom
(SD"8.92) with a range of 1}39 yr. A comparison management
with all teachers working in secondary schools in Perceived self-e$cacy in classroom management
the province of Limburg in 1997 (CFI, 1998) was measured using the Self-e$cacy scale for Class-
showed that the sample of the present study was room Management and Discipline designed by
representative in terms of sex (s2"0.97, p"0.33), Emmer and Hickman (1991). The questionnaire
not in terms of age (t"2.19, p"0.01). includes 14 items measured on a 6-point Likert
Analysis revealed no signi"cant di!erences be- scale and has a strongly agree/strongly disagree
tween Time 1 and 2 participants on the measures, response format. Examples of items are: `I can keep
including sex (s2"0.34, p "0.558), age (t"1.27, a few problem students from ruining an entire
p"0.103), years of teaching experience (t"1.28, classa and `If a student in my class becomes disrup-
p"0.100), perceived self-e$cacy (t"0.71, tive and noisy, I feel assured that I know some
p"0.238), emotional exhaustion (t"0.18, techniques to redirect him quickly.a For this scale
p"0.428), depersonalization (t"0.00, p"0.500), Emmer and Hickman (1991) found a reliability
and personal accomplishment (t"0.71, p"0.240). coe$cient of 0.79 (N"161). The Emmer and
244 A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

Hickman questionnaire was translated into Dutch. advantages with respect to other analytical proced-
The translated items were discussed with eight sec- ures such as the cross-lagged panel correlation
ondary school teachers to check their comprehensi- technique and hierarchical regression analysis. The
bility in a di!erent educational system. Based on SEM procedure provides tests that allow for direc-
their suggestions the translations of some items tional conclusions and can include reciprocal rela-
were adapted. tionships between variables (Zapf, Dormann
& Frese, 1996; Kessler & Greenberg, 1981).
2.3. Procedure The SEM procedure starts with the formulation
of several plausible models specifying the relation-
The principals of 15 randomly selected schools in ships within a set of variables. As a model is being
the province of Limburg in the Netherlands were formulated in SEM, the parameters of the relation-
asked to cooperate in the study and were mailed ships between the variables, i.e. the regression coef-
questionnaires at Time 1 and at 2 along with a re- "cients, are speci"ed as either "xed or free. Fixed
quest to hand out the questionnaires to every parameters are usually set at constant values (e.g.
teacher in their school accompanied by a letter zero) while free parameters are regarded as nonzero
explaining the nature and general aim of the study. in the population from which the sample is selected.
At both measurement times follow-up mailings For example, in order to specify that variable X has
were used to increase the return rate. no e!ect on variable >, the parameter concerned
must be "xed at zero. However, when it is assumed
2.4. Analysis that variable X does have an e!ect on variable >,
the parameter concerned must be released to
A structural equation modeling (SEM) proced- estimate.
ure with maximum likelihood estimation utilizing Fig. 1 shows a model that consists of four vari-
the AMOS 3.6 computer program was employed to ables: self-e$cacy at Time 1 and 2 and a particular
determine the most likely direction and time-frame dimension of burnout at Time 1 and 2, e.g. deper-
("ve months longitudinal or synchronous) of the sonalization. To examine the relationships between
relationships between perceived self-e$cacy and the variables, a four-step procedure was followed
the three burnout dimensions. In testing longitudi- (Lee & Ashforth, 1993). In step 1, the stability
nal relationships, SEM procedures have several model was compared with the null model to reveal

Fig. 1. Model for testing longitudinal relations between self-e$cacy and the depersonalization dimension of burnout.
A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253 245

whether the stability paths were signi"cant. A stab- self-e$cacyPTime 2 depersonalization [arrow
ility model consists of X }X and > }> relation- g]), while the synchronous paths at Time 1 and
1 2 1 2
ships (stability paths) which re#ect the amount of 2 which go in the same direction as the released
change in a single variable across time (Maruyama, lagged path are constrained to be equal (e.g., Time
1998). In this model only the stability paths (arrows 1 perceived self-e$cacyPTime 1 depersonaliz-
a and b in Fig. 1) are released, while the other paths ation [arrow c] was set equal to Time 2 perceived
(arrows c, d, e, f, g, and h) are "xed at zero. A null self-e$cacyPTime 2 depersonalization [arrow
model represents the most restricted model, specify- d]); the other lagged path and the other syn-
ing that the variables are mutually independent chronous paths are "xed at zero (arrows e, f and h).
(Bentler & Bonett, 1980). The variables at Time After models are formulated in SEM, the extent
1 were accepted to regress on themselves at Time 2, to which each model "ts the data is estimated using
when the stability model "tted the data better than the chi-square statistic. The chi-square statistic is
the null model. used to compare the observed covariances, i.e. the
In step 2, two synchronous models*named syn- covariances calculated from the data matrix, with
chronous type 1 models*were compared with the the implied covariances, i.e. the covariances implied
stability model to reveal whether the synchronous by the model. An arbitrary set of initial values
paths were signi"cant. In a synchronous type which are possible within the boundaries of the
1 model, the stability paths (arrows a and b) and the model serve as a starting point for the implied
synchronous paths at Time 1 and 2 which go in the covariances. Because the initial values are arbit-
same direction are released (e.g., Time 1 perceived rary, the "t is likely to be poor. One or more of the
self-e$cacyPTime 1 depersonalization [arrow c], initial values are therefore changed to improve the
and Time 2 perceived self-e$cacyPTime 2 deper- "t, and the process is repeated with this new set of
sonalization [arrow d]) while the other syn- trial values. This cycle is repeated again and again
chronous paths as well as the lagged paths are "xed until the optimum solution is found (Loehlin, 1998).
at zero (arrows e, f, g and h). The implied covariances of the optimum solution
In step 3, two synchronous models with equality are then compared with the observed covariances
constraints*named synchronous type 2 models* using the chi-square statistic. If the chi-square stat-
were compared with the best-"tting synchronous istic is small compared to the degrees of freedom,
type 1 model to reveal whether the synchronous the model provides a plausible representation of
paths met the stationarity assumption (James, the relationships between the variables in the popu-
Mulaik & Brett, 1982). In a synchronous type lation (Bentler & Bonett, 1980).
2 model the stability paths are released (arrows Chi-square di!erence tests were used to compare
a and b) and the synchronous paths at Time 1 and the relative "t of the models. The chi-square statis-
2 which go in the same direction are constrained to tic for these tests is simply the di!erence between
be equal (e.g., Time 1 perceived self-e$cacyPTime the separate chi-square statistics of the compared
1 depersonalization [arrow c] was set equal to models, while the number of degrees of freedom (df)
Time 2 perceived self-e$cacyPTime 2 depersonal- is simply the di!erence between their dfs (Loehlin,
ization [arrow d]); the other synchronous paths as 1998). The model that performs better than the
well as the lagged paths are "xed at zero (arrows e, comparison models*as re#ected in the chi-square
f, g, and h). di!erence tests*shows to have a signi"cantly
In step 4, two longitudinal models were com- smaller di!erence between its implied covariances
pared with the synchronous type 2 models to reveal and the observed covariances than the comparison
whether the lagged paths were signi"cant. Then the models.
best-"tting longitudinal model was compared with Besides the chi-square statistic, the Adjusted
the best-"tting synchronous model, to reveal which Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI), the Tucker}Lewis
model "t the data best. In a longitudinal model, the Index (TLI), and the Comparative Fit Index (CFI)
stability paths (arrows a and b) and one of the were used to examine the models "t. TLI and CFI
lagged paths are released (e.g., Time 1 perceived are said to be relatively robust to sample size bias
246 A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

and to take model simplicity and chi-square values p(0.01), and the values on AGFI (0.70 and 0.15,
into consideration (McDonald & Marsh, 1990; respectively). So, emotional exhaustion and per-
Bentler, 1990). The indexes were used to compare ceived self-e$cacy at Time 1 could be accepted to
the models of step 1}4. In step 1 the null model regress on themselves at Time 2. The step 2 results
served as baseline, whereas in steps 2}4 the stability indicated that the synchronous type 1 models were
model served as baseline. If TLI and CFI exceed signi"cantly superior to the stability model, as
0.90, the "t of a model can be considered as accept- re#ected in the chi-square di!erence tests
able (Bentler & Bonett, 1980). The model which (*s2 "73.70, p(0.01 and Ds2 "63.22, p(0.01).
(2) (2)
performed signi"cantly better than the comparison However, the synchronous type 1 model with the
model*as re#ected in the chi-di!erence tests* released paths of emotional exhaustion to per-
and which produced the largest value on TLI and ceived self-e$cacy "tted the data better than the
CFI, was considered to "t the data best. other synchronous type 1 model, as re#ected in the
values on the "t indexes (e.g., TLI is 1.00 and 0.72,
respectively). The step 3 results indicated that the
3. Results synchronous type 2 models were signi"cantly in-
ferior to the best-"tting synchronous type 1 model,
Table 1 presents means, standard deviations, in- as re#ected in the chi-square di!erence tests
ternal consistency measures (i.e., Cronbach's (*s2 "12.67, p(0.01 and *s2 "32.62,
(1) (1)
Alpha), and intercorrelations of variables. The p(0.01). The step 4 results indicated that only the
reliability of the scales at both measurement times longitudinal model with the released lagged path of
was 0.71 or higher, which is adequate according to emotional exhaustion to perceived self-e$cacy was
the criterion suggested by Nunnally (1978). signi"cantly superior to the best-"tting syn-
Table 2 presents the "t of the models to examine chronous type 2 model, as re#ected in the
the synchronous and longitudinal relationships be- chi-square di!erence test (*s2 "6.94, p(0.01).
tween perceived self-e$cacy and the three burnout However, the synchronous type 1 model with the
dimensions. For the relationship between emo- released synchronous paths of emotional exhaus-
tional exhaustion and perceived self-e$cacy, the tion to perceived self-e$cacy "tted the data better
step 1 results indicated that the stability model was than the best-"tting longitudinal model, as re#ected
signi"cantly superior to the null model, as re#ected in the values on the "t indexes (e.g., TLI is 1.00 and
in the chi-square di!erence test (*s2 "499.40, 0.86, respectively). So, the results indicated that the

Table 1
Means, standard deviations, internal consistency measures (i.e., Cronbach's Alpha's), and intercorrelations of variables (N"243)

Scale Intercorrelations

Variable M SD a 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Time 1
1. Perceived self-e$cacy 50.31 8.46 0.89 *
2. Emotional exhaustion 16.30 9.43 0.91 !0.45 *
3. Depersonalization 5.71 4.18 0.72 !0.43 0.61 *
4. Personal accomplishment 27.01 6.64 0.86 0.60 !0.45 0.50 *

Time 2
5. Perceived self-e$cacy 50.09 8.37 0.90 0.76 !0.46 !0.37 0.56 *
6. Emotional exhaustion 16.83 9.51 0.92 !0.41 0.84 0.55 !0.41 !0.47 *
7. Depersonalization 6.50 4.13 0.71 !0.36 0.58 0.69 !0.52 !0.45 !0.61 *
8. Personal accomplishment 27.29 6.48 0.86 0.59 !0.53 !0.51 0.75 !0.69 !0.53 !0.63 *
A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253 247

Table 2
Chi-squares, chi-square di!erences, and "t indexes of the models (N"243)

s2 df *s2 p AGFI TLI CFI

Emotional exhaustion (EE)%Perceived self-e$cacy (PSE)

Null model 574.47 6 0.15
Stability model 75.07 4 499.40 0.000 0.70 0.81 0.88
Synchronous type 1 models:
EEPPSE 1.37 2 73.70 0.000 0.99 1.00 1.00
PSEPEE 11.85 2 63.22 0.000 0.88 0.72 0.86
Synchronous type 2 models:
EEPPSE 14.04 3 61.03 0.000 0.91 0.79 0.84
PSEPEE 33.99 3 44.08 0.000 0.80 0.42 0.56
Longitudinal models:
EEPPSE 7.10 2 67.97 0.000 0.93 0.86 0.93
PSEPEE 22.10 2 52.97 0.000 0.79 0.43 0.72
Depersonalization (DP)% Perceived self-e$cacy (PSE)
Null Model 440.08 6 0.23
Stability Model 76.88 4 363.20 0.000 0.69 0.75 0.83
Synchronous type 1 models:
DPPPSE 7.04 2 69.84 0.000 0.93 0.86 0.93
PSEPDP 7.01 2 69.87 0.000 0.93 0.86 0.93
Synchronous type 2 models:
DPPPSE 16.85 3 60.03 0.000 0.90 0.75 0.81
PSEPDP 14.32 3 62.56 0.000 0.91 0.79 0.84
Longitudinal models:
DPPPSE 6.46 2 70.42 0.000 0.94 0.88 0.94
PSEPDP 2.71 2 74.17 0.000 0.97 0.98 0.99
Personal accomplishment (pa) % Perceived self-e$cacy (PSE)
Null Model 597.55 6 0.05
Stability Model 187.80 4 409.75 0.000 0.44 0.53 0.69
Synchronous type 1 models:
PAPPSE 21.59 2 166.21 0.000 0.79 0.79 0.89
PSEPPA 10.64 2 177.16 0.000 0.89 0.91 0.95
Synchronous type 2 models:
PAPPSE 31.98 3 155.82 0.000 0.81 0.79 0.84
PSEPPA 20.49 3 167.31 0.000 0.87 0.87 0.90
Longitudinal models:
PAPPSE 20.90 2 166.90 0.000 0.80 0.79 0.90
PSEPPA 13.61 2 174.19 0.000 0.87 0.87 0.94

synchronous type 1 model with the released syn- signi"cantly superior to the stability model, as
chronous paths of emotional exhaustion to per- re#ected in the chi-square di!erence tests
ceived self-e$cacy "tted the data best. (*s2 "69.84, p(0.01 and *s2 "69.87, p(
(2) (2)
For the relationship between depersonalization 0.01). The values on the "t indexes indicated that
and perceived self-e$cacy, the step 1 results in- the "t of both synchronous models was about equal
dicated that the stability model was signi"cantly (e.g., TLI is 0.86 and 0.86). The step 3 results in-
superior to the null model, as re#ected in the chi- dicated that the synchronous type 2 models were
square di!erence test (*s2 "363.20, p(0.01), signi"cantly inferior to the best "tting synchronous
and the values on AGFI (0.69 and 0.23, respective- type 1 model, as re#ected in the chi-square di!er-
ly). So, depersonalization at Time 1 could be accep- ence tests (*s2 "9.84, p(0.01 and *s2 "7.31,
(1) (1)
ted to regress on itself at Time 2. The step 2 results p(0.01). The step 4 results indicated that the lon-
indicated that the synchronous type 1 models were gitudinal models were signi"cantly superior to the
248 A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

best "tting synchronous type 2 model, as re#ected perceived self-e$cacy to personal accomplishment
in the chi-square di!erence test (*s2 "7.86, "tted the data best.
p(0.01 and *s2 "11.60, p(0.01). However, the
longitudinal model with the released lagged path of
perceived self-e$cacy to depersonalization "tted 4. Discussion
the data better than the other longitudinal model as
well as the synchronous type 1 models, as re#ected The present study examined the direction and
in the values on the "t indexes (e.g., TLI is 0.98, time-frame of relationships between perceived self-
0.88, 0.86, and 0.86, respectively). So, the results e$cacy in classroom management and the three
indicated that the longitudinal model with the dimensions of teacher burnout. The results show
released lagged path of perceived self-e$cacy to that the direction and time-frame ("ve months lon-
depersonalization "tted the data best. gitudinal or synchronous) of relationships between
For the relationship between personal accom- the variables were di!erent for the three burnout
plishment and perceived self-e$cacy, the step 1 re- dimensions.
sults indicated that the stability model was The direction of the relationship between emo-
signi"cantly superior to the null model, as re#ected tional exhaustion and perceived self-e$cacy in
in the chi-square di!erence test (*s2 "409.75, classroom management showed an e!ect of the
p(0.01), and the values on AGFI (0.44 and 0.05, former on the latter, while the time frame was
respectively). So, personal accomplishment at Time synchronous. The direction of the relationships be-
1 could be accepted to regress on itself at Time 2. tween the variables does not necessarily contradict
The step 2 results indicated that the synchronous the "ndings of Brouwers and Tomic (1998). In their
type 1 models were signi"cantly superior to the study of student disruptive behavior, perceived
stability model, as re#ected in the chi-square di!er- self-e$cacy in classroom management and teacher
ence tests (*s2 "166.21, p(0.01 and burnout, they initially assumed that perceived self-
*s2 "177.16, p(0.01). However, the syn- e$cacy has an e!ect on emotional exhaustion.
chronous type 1 model with the released paths of However, SEM analysis procedure indicates that
perceived self-e$cacy to personal accomplishment emotional exhaustion and depersonalization
"tted the data better than the other synchronous underlie a construct named the core of burnout.
type 1 model, as re#ected in the values on the "t Although their analysis showed that perceived self-
indexes (e.g., TLI is 0.91 and 0.79, respectively). The e$cacy has an e!ect on the core of burnout and, by
step 3 results indicated that the synchronous type that on emotional exhaustion, a substantial part of
2 models were signi"cantly inferior to the best- this e!ect can be attributed to depersonalization,
"tting synchronous type 1 model, as re#ected in the the other underlying factor. It so happens that the
chi-square di!erence tests (*s2 "21.34, p(0.01 present study showed that the direction of the rela-
and *s2 "9.85, p(0.01). The step 4 results in- tionship between depersonalization and perceived
dicated that only the longitudinal model with the self-e$cacy is the reverse of the direction of the
released lagged path of perceived self-e$cacy to relationship between emotional exhaustion and
personal accomplishment was signi"cantly su- perceived self-e$cacy (Fig. 2).
perior to the best-"tting synchronous type 2 model, An explanation of the e!ect of emotional exhaus-
as re#ected in the chi-square di!erence test tion on perceived self-e$cacy can be found in two
(*s2 "6.88, p(0.01). However, the synchronous sources of self-e$cacy beliefs, including enactive
type 1 model with the released synchronous paths mastery experiences and physiological and a!ective
of perceived self-e$cacy to personal accomplish- states (Bandura, 1986,1997). First, the number of
ment "tted the data better than the best-"tted lon- enactive mastery experiences which serve as direct
gitudinal model, as re#ected in the values on the "t indicators of capabilities, will most likely decrease
indexes (e.g., TLI is 0.91 and 0.87, respectively). So, as a consequence of emotional exhaustion. The
the results indicated that the synchronous type more emotionally exhausted teachers are,
1 model with the released synchronous paths of the poorer their performances will generally be.
A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253 249

Fig. 2. Relationships between self-e$cacy in classroom management and the three dimensions of burnout (SE above the arrows
indicates synchronous e!ects, LE indicates a longitudinal e!ect.

Since teachers form their self-e$cacy beliefs on the an e!ect of perceived self-e$cacy on personal
basis of evaluations of their performances (includ- accomplishment as well, mediated by the core
ing their evaluation of their attempts to manage of burnout, i.e. emotional exhaustion and
student disruptive behavior, Brouwers & Tomic, depersonalization.
1998), their perceived self-e$cacy in classroom Personal accomplishment and perceived self-e$-
management will likely decrease as a consequence cacy are sometimes mistakenly viewed as essential-
of diminished performances. Second, emotional ex- ly the same phenomenon measured at di!erent
haustion is a long-term stress reaction (Maslach levels of generality. In point of fact, they represent
& Leiter, 1997). Aversive physiological and a!ec- di!erent phenomena. Perceived self-e$cacy is
tive arousal merged with job stress can serve as an a judgment of one's ability to organize and execute
indicator of low capability, which in#uences per- given types of performances, whereas personal ac-
ceived self-e$cacy negatively (Bandura, 1997). complishment refers to a judgment of the conse-
The direction of the relationship between deper- quences of such performances (Bandura, 1997).
sonalization and perceived self-e$cacy in class- The e!ect found of perceived self-e$cacy on per-
room management showed an e!ect of the latter on sonal accomplishment is easy to explain. When
the former, while the time-frame was longitudinal. teachers have little con"dence in their ability to
Brouwers and Tomic (1998) showed in a cross- maintain classroom order, they will likely give up
sectional study an e!ect of perceived self-e$cacy on easily in the face of continuous disruptive student
the core of burnout of which depersonalization was behavior. As a consequence they feel themselves
one of the underlying factors. ine!ective in their attempts to maintain classroom
Depersonalization refers to a cynical, cold, and order. It is reasonable to assume that these feelings
distant attitude towards work and the people on of ine!ectiveness will quickly arise after a decline in
the job, i.e. students (Maslach & Leiter, 1997). perceived self-e$cacy. It so happens that teachers
A possible explanation of the e!ect found is that who doubt their ability to maintain classroom or-
teachers who doubt their ability to manage disrup- der also do less to solve the order problem.
tive students can blame students for their doubts This study has a few suggestions with respect to
(Brouwers & Tomic, 1998). As a consequence, devising interventions. First, the longitudinal e!ect
sooner or later they develop a negative attitude found on depersonalization and the synchronous
toward students. e!ect on personal accomplishment suggest that it is
The direction of the relationship between per- important to take perceived self-e$cacy in class-
sonal accomplishment and perceived self-e$cacy in room management into consideration when devis-
classroom management showed an e!ect of the ing interventions to prevent and to treat teacher
latter on the former, while the time-frame was burnout. Maddux and Lewis (1995) discussed strat-
synchronous. The direction of the relationships egies for enhancing self-e$cacy and gave several
between the variables is in accordance with the recommendations to devisers of self-e$cacy di-
"ndings of Brouwers and Tomic (1998). They found rected interventions.
250 A. Brouwers, W. Tomic / Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (2000) 239}253

The four sources of e$cacy beliefs are enactive identify the appropriate temporal lags for the devel-
mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal opment of burnout and perceived self-e$cacy in
persuasion, and a!ective states (Bandura, 1997). As future longitudinal studies (Gollob & Reichardt,
enactive mastery experiences have the greatest in- 1987; McGrath & Kelly, 1986).
#uence on self-e$cacy, in enhancing teacher's self- Second, the variables were measured at only two
e$cacy in the domain of classroom management it points in time. As all changes took place in the
is essential to induce experiences of success. To same time frame, the longitudinal e!ect found of
achieve this, the "rst step in a training program perceived self-e$cacy on depersonalization can
must be aimed at giving teachers the necessary only be considered as tentative.
skills to cope with disruptive student behavior. Third, the number of teachers who participated
Practical problems would allow experienced at both measurement times was low in comparison
teachers to tell how they handle such situations. In with the total number of teachers who were asked
addition, they could watch a video showing to participate in the "rst instance. Although this
teachers who handled student disruptive behavior problem is a common one in longitudinal studies,
successfully (vicarious experience). After the it makes it di$cult to draw "rm conclusions
teachers were taught the necessary know-how to from the results. However, in the present study this
handle disruptive students, they could perform the problem was tackled to some extent by analyzing
new skills in a laboratory classroom in order to the di!erences between Time 1 and 2 participants
experience their mastery at handling disruptive be- on all measured variables. Since no signi"cant
havior. Video-recordings would chart their suc- di!erences were found, it was assumed that the
cesses and failures and allow experienced teachers refusal of teachers to participate at Time 2 was not
to give feedback (verbal persuasion). After the selective.
teachers had experienced a kind of mastery at It was concluded that in educational settings
handling disruptive behavior in the laboratory perceived self-e$cacy in classroom management
classroom and after experienced teachers had per- has a longitudinal e!ect on the depersonalization
suaded them of their e$cacy, they might be able to dimension of burnout and a synchronous e!ect on
handle their own classrooms with more con"dence the personal accomplishment dimension. So, it is
in their abilities to manage disruptive behavior. important to take perceived self-e$cacy in class-
Second, emotional exhaustion may not be room management into consideration when devis-
in#uenced directly by interventions which are ing interventions to prevent and to treat burnout
intended to increase perceived self-e$cacy in among secondary school teachers.
classroom management. So, it is desirable that
interventions which take aim at treating all three
dimensions of the burnout syndrome are focused Acknowledgements
not only on increasing self-e$cacy in classroom
management, but also on other determinants of This study was supported in part by the Faculty
teacher burnout. Longitudinal studies of teacher of Social Sciences, The Open University of the
burnout have revealed that social support and dis- Netherlands. The authors wish to thank the re-
ruptive students were precursors of burnout as well viewers for their thoughtful suggestions and the
(Burke & Greenglass, 1995; Burke, Greenglass teachers who participated in this study.
& Schwarzer, 1996).
This study has a few limitations. First, no pre-
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