Emotional Intelligence, Personality, Stress, and Burnout Among Educators

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Abstract

We examined the role of personal resources alongside job characteristics, and demographic factors in burnout among educators in 2 samples with emphasis on the potential role of emotional intelligence (EI). In the first, based on the literature, we hypothesized that tenure, position, and education, alongside personality, EI, and the experience of stress will show association patterns with burnout. In the second we proposed and tested a more specific mediation model in which stress level mediated the association between EI and burnout. In Study 1, 230 daycare-center employees took a brief measure of personality based on the five-factor model, measures of EI, stress symptomatology, burnout, and provided basic demographic information. In Study 2, 209 school teachers recruited online filled out the same measures. Our results suggested that only stress and EI showed unique associations with burnout; while stress showed a positive association, EI showed a moderate negative one. In the second study, the results echoed the outcomes of the first study; while stress showed a positive association, EI showed a moderate, negative association with burnout. SEM analysis supported a mediation model, in which stress mediated the association between EI and burnout. We discuss the results in light of the theory and evidence on burnout on one hand and the concept of EI on the other. Potential implications in light of cultural and organizational settings are proposed.

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