Effects of school-wide positive behavior support intervention concepts on teacher burnout

Kenya E Newby, Tennessee State University


As school districts assemble their school staff each fall, conventional wisdom would suggest that America is experiencing problems within their schools. A myriad of factors may be causing problems, however two words stand out above others. These are discipline and teacher burnout. Student classroom behavior problems and teacher burnout have increased in our schools at an alarming rate. School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) is a program based on broad assessments of schools and their climate. SWPBS involves creating and explicitly stating expectations, teaching those expectations, encouraging appropriate behavior, and defining ways to handle inappropriate behavior. SWPBS refers to a systems change for an entire school or district. Maslach, Jackson and Leiter (1996), described burnout as a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment that may occur among individuals who work with people in some capacity including educators. The problem investigated in this research study addresses whether the use of SWPBS Intervention Concepts will decrease teacher burnout and increase the retention rate of teachers in schools. The participants in this research study consisted of 125 educators employed in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School system. Two schools practicing SWPBS and two schools not practicing SWPBS were surveyed. Schools from the elementary and the middle school level were analyzed. Permission to use the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was received from Mind Garden Incorporated. The MBI-Educator Survey and a questionnaire were used to gather data related to teacher burnout and the use of school wide positive behavior support intervention concepts. There were four research questions and five hypotheses to be answered in the study. The findings of the study included the following: a) various school educators experienced different levels of burnout b) educators at the middle school level reported more challenging working conditions than elementary school educators c) educators of schools using SWPBS had higher burnout levels than those schools not using SWPBS.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|School administration|Educational psychology|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Kenya E Newby, "Effects of school-wide positive behavior support intervention concepts on teacher burnout" (2014). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3683324.