A Correlational Analysis of Burnout and Job Satisfaction Among Special Education Teachers

A Correlational Analysis of Burnout and Job Satisfaction Among Special Education Teachers

Author: 
Belinda Joy Lipscomb
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
Special education teachers increasingly report feelings of burnout and job dissatisfaction. The purpose of the correlational study was to investigate the relationship between burnout and job satisfaction among special education teachers. The three-dimensional theory of burnout (Maslach, 1976) and motivation-hygiene theory of job satisfaction (Herzberg, 1959) provided the theoretical framework for the research. The independent variables were emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. The dependent variable was job satisfaction. The Maslach Burnout Inventory- Educators Survey (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) was used to measure perceived burnout and the Teacher Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (Lester, 1987) was used to measure perceptions of job satisfaction. A demographic survey was added to ascertain the effect that moderating variables might exert on burnout. Two hundred, fifteen special education teachers from an Alabama public school system were invited to participate in the study. The final sample number was N = 65. Results of Pearson’s Product Moment correlational analysis of the data indicate a slightly negative correlation between emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction (r = -.352, p = .004; two-tailed) and depersonalization and job satisfaction (r = -.478, p = .000; two-tailed). Study results indicate a moderately positive relationship between personal accomplishment and job satisfaction (r = .354, p = .004; two-tailed). Educators and educational leaders could employ practices and policies leading to decreased feelings of burnout and increased job satisfaction among individuals working as special education teachers and realize a degree of success in retaining qualified special educators. Recommendations for educators and educational leaders are included in Chapter 5.
Dedication: 
This effort is dedicated to my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother who did not have the educational opportunities that I have been fortunate to have. Most of all, I would like to thank God who has so richly blessed me in all things. “Do not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at the harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to thank Dr. Catherine Dikes, Dissertation Chair extraordinaire, for walking this lonely and difficult path with me. I believe that life is not a destination, but rather a journey and I’ve been fortunate to have you as my traveling companion. I am amazed that I have met someone who matches- perhaps exceeds- my capacity for hope, tenacity, and resiliency. You have been such a blessing to me and I want you to know that I appreciate you so much. You are and will remain one of the most influential people in my life! I want to recognize my Dissertation Committee members Dr. Amy Hakim and Dr. Pamela Warrick. Thank you for your patience and perseverance. Thank you for sticking with me through this process and for your reviews of my efforts and your feedback and recommendations. I could not have done this without your combined help! To Dr. Ellen Gruber for making me feel academically special and inspiring me to be a lifelong learner. To Mike, for hanging in there with me through my Ed. S. degree, National Board Certification, Fulbright-Japan Scholarship, and most of the Doctoral process. We will always be friends and support each other. Many thanks to Kim for her friendship and support. Life is better for knowing you and work even more fun than it already is. To my former and current colleagues in the school system, I thank you all for being a part of my professional growth and workplace satisfaction. To Darts for his companionship, friendship, and teaching me to hunt. To all my students- past, present and future- thank you for your trust and friendship and for keeping me young at heart. Thank you for all that you’ve taught me! To John for testing my ability to trust God’s will for my life- remember: “Faith makes things possible- not easy