A Comparison of Stress and Burnout between Dutch General and Special Education Teachers

Authors J.C. van der Wolf, H.A. Everaert
Publication date 2006
Type Report


In this study self-reported stress and burn-out levels between general and special education teachers in the Netherlands are compared. More than eight hundred teachers were assessed with the Utrechtse Burnout Schaal (UBOS-L/MBI) to determine their levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment within the school context. We also used instruments to measure different stress indicators (personal characteristics: self-efficacy, negative affect, and student characteristics: student responsibility and discipline, studentpeer relationships, and class size). Contrary to recent findings in the United States (Shoho, 2002), results regarding burnout did not show any significant differences between general education teachers (n=604) and special education teachers (n=206). However, we do find significant differences in stress indicators explaining burnout. We also looked for factors other than those intrinsic to teaching, by crossnationally comparing teacher stress and burnout. Teachers in the U.S. and the Netherlands differ significantly in burnout level. U.S. teachers experience more burnout.

Language English
Key words burnout, general and special education, student behavior, class size, negative affect, self-efficacy