The potential role of perceived support for reduction of special education teachers’ burnout

Viviana Langher, Andrea Caputo, Maria Elisabetta Ricci


Teacher burnout is conceived as a general concern in special education because of the emotionally demanding work context. This study explored the potential role of perceived support for reduction of burnout in a sample of 276 special education teachers working in lower (n=130) and higher (n=146) secondary schools. Participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey (MBI-ES) and a scale on the perceived collaboration and support from general education teachers. To explore the association between perceived support and each burnout measure considered (emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and personal accomplishment), correlation analyses were performed. Then, in order to check the robustness of our empirical findings, multilevel regression models (at teacher-school-administrative area level) were used controlling for several variables (teacher socio-demographic characteristics, teacher training and professional background, inclusive teaching practice and school context). Results suggest the potential role of perceived support in reducing emotional exhaustion and improving personal accomplishment in all the models considered. Instead, the relationship between perceived support and depersonalisation seems to be quite controversial, moreover when adding controls related to teacher’s training and professional background.


teacher burnout, special education, perceived support, inclusive teaching, multilevel regression models

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International Journal of Educational Psychology - IJEP | ISSN: 2014-3591

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