A developmental model of job burnout dimensions among primary school teachers: evidence from structural equation model and cross-lagged panel network model

XIE Min1 LI Feng2 LUO Yuhan1 KE Li3 WANG Xia4 WANG Yun1

(1.State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875)
(2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment for Basic Education Quality, Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai, Zhuhai 519087)
(3.Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment for Basic Education Quality, Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai, Beijing 100875)
(4.Haidian Institute of Education Sciences, Beijing 100080)

【Abstract】The three dimensions of teacher’s job burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment, are relatively independent but also have mutual influence. Research into their developmental relationship is helpful to understand the developmental process of job burnout and identify the early symptoms of job burnout. Finally, 3837 primary school teachers took part in this two-wave longitudinal study with interval for three years. We conducted structural equation model (SEM) to compare five representative developmental models, basic model and full model, while using cross-lagged panel network model (CLPN) to highlight pathways among three dimensions and to reveal pathways among the constituting variables within each dimension. In the cross-lagged panel network model, the relations among individual items were modeled both within and across time point. Results of SEM showed that when considering the effect size r > 0.1, the optimal development model for primary school teachers’ job burnout dimensions was “T1 emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment separately predicted T2 emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment, T1 depersonalization predicted T2 depersonalization and T2 reduced personal accomplishment.” Results of CLPN showed that the center of the network was an important outcome “experiencing positive influence and value at work” (item 3 of reduced personal accomplishment) and an important predictor “I do not care what students think of me” (item 4 of depersonalization). The strongest pathways in the network were the effect of “experiencing positive influence and value at work” (item 3 of reduced personal accomplishment) on “I do not care what students think of me” (item 4 of depersonalization) and the effect of “work often causes me insomnia and headaches” (item 8 of emotional exhaustion) on “exhausted physically and mentally” (item 2 of emotional exhaustion). While the former belonged to the vertical process between depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment, the latter belonged to the vertical process within emotional exhaustion. The direct impacts of emotional exhaustion on depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment on emotional exhaustion existed but the strengths were obvious weaker than the pathways above. The results supported the optimal development model. Both SEM and CLPN results indicate that depersonalization plays an important role in teacher burnout. One suggestion is to include the evaluations of teachers’ relationships with students, colleagues and leaders to identify the depersonalization symptoms in time, which may effectively prevent the further development of teacher burnout.

【Keywords】 primary school teachers; job burnout; structural equation model; cross-lagged panel network model; development model;


【Funds】 National Social Science Fund of China (20&ZD153)

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This Article



Vol , No. 04, Pages 371-384

February 2022


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Methods
  • 3 Results
  • 4 Discussion
  • 5 Conclusions
  • References