CRITICAL APPROACH TO BURNOUT IN TEACHING PROFESSION
In the present era of advancement, increasing attention has been given to phenomenon of burnout. Burnout is the severe form of stress i.e. the negative side of stress that leads to burnout. Stress is experienced as a restriction of our existence. Stress is also referred as pressure, tense situation, uneasiness, negative force which effects individual, or the body of individual or the intellectual capacity of an individual (Hinkle, 1973). To understand the difference between stress and burnout, stress has both positive and negative outcomes as observed by Selye, 1956 but burnout has only negative outcomes. Stress can be useful or harmful depending upon the individual how an individual reacts in the stressful situation. Time to time different concepts of burnout came into existence. Burnout, a trendy term which is used to highlight boredom, depression, extreme stress.
Stress, a phenomenon which everyone feels from birth till death in every step of life. No person on this earth can deny the fact that his or her life is stress free. The term “stress” was first used by Selye (1936) in the literature on life sciences, describing stress as “the force, pressure, or strain exerted upon a material object or person which resist these forces and attempt to maintain its original state.” Stress is that kind of force in which an individual’s psychological and physical state deviates from the normal functioning (Beehr and Newman, 1978). Selye (1956), who invented the term and whose work helped entire scientific community to understand and deal with stress syndrome, gave scientific definition of stress. Any external event or internal drive that threatens to upset the organismic equilibrium is stress. Stress is experienced as a restriction of our existence. Stress is also referred as pressure, tense situation, uneasiness, negative force which effects individual, or the body of individual or the intellectual capacity of an individual (Hinkle, 1973). According to Gold and Roth (1993) stress is a condition of disequilibrium within the intellectual, emotional and physical state of the individual; it is generated by one’s perception of a situation, which results in physical and emotional reactions. It can be either positive or negative depending upon one’s interpretation. Stress can be understood in terms of a dynamic state in which an individual has to face the conflicts or opportunities and the result of this will be uncertain (Robbins, 2001).
Thus, each and every human being experiences stress at every step of life. All of us have different desires in our life and we have to set numerous goals and objectives to accomplish this; this generates a kind of force, tension and anxiety in us. This leads to stress. It will be a positive stress if it provides motivation to achieve our set goals but contrary to this the positive stress turns to be negative if we are unable to achieve our set desires.
The life stress process is made up of three main structural components (Dohrenwend and Dohrenwend, 1980):
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Fig. 1.1 - Components of the Life Stress Process
(Source: Dohrenwend and Dohrenwend, 1980)
The first is the stimulus components of life events, ranging from extreme situations such as man-made or natural disasters to more usual events i.e. marriage, birth of a child, divorce and job loss.
The second component is ongoing social situation that includes individual’s occupational circumstances, domestic arrangements and social network, which existed before the occurrence of life events.
The third component consists of the personal characteristics or disposition of the individual exposed to the life event. It includes the individual genetic vulnerabilities, past experiences with episodes of physical illnesses and personality characteristics.
In the present era of advancement, increasing attention has been given to phenomenon of burnout. Burnout is the severe form of stress i.e. the negative side of stress that leads to burnout. To understand the difference between stress and burnout, stress has both positive and negative outcomes as observed by Selye, 1956 but burnout has only negative outcomes. Stress can be useful or harmful depending upon the individual how an individual reacts in the stressful situation. Time to time different concepts of burnout came into existence i.e. clinic approach given by Freudenberger (1974), organizational perspective given by Cherniss (1980), social-psychological approach given by Maslach (1982) and individual perception given by Farber (1991).
Development of the Burnout Construct
Freudenberger (1974), a psychiatrist who was largely credited with first to use the term “Burnout”. Freudenberger described burnout as physical and emotional exhaustion due to the result of excessive demands on energy, strength and resources. Also when frustration, tension or anxiety increase, stress develops into a syndrome labeled as burnout.
Maslach and Jackson refined the meaning and measurement of the burnout construct in the 1980’s (Maslach and Jackson, 1981; Maslach and Schaufeli, 1993) to include three dimensions:
(1) depersonalization (means one distances oneself from others and views others impersonally) (2) reduced personal accomplishment (means one devalues one's work with others) and (3) emotional exhaustion (means one feels emptied of personal emotional resources and becomes highly vulnerable to stressors).
The phenomenon of burnout conceptualized in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment (Maslach, Jackson and Leiter, 1996). This concept came into existence when people get to know about a proper instrument to measure burnout this that is M.B.I. or Maslach Burnout Inventory developed by Maslach and Jackson (1986).
The pioneer work on burnout concept was done by Freudenberger. After this a lot of studies were carried on burnout in different fields all over the world associated with number of other variables. The term burnout can be understood in terms of negative outcomes of an individual from the stressful working atmosphere.
Definitions of Burnout
Psychoanalyst Freudenberger (1974) defined burnout as, “A state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected rewards.”
Maslach and Pine (1977) described burnout as, “The loss of concern for people with whom one is working.”
Meier (1984) defined burnout as, “A state resulting from repeated work experiences in which individuals expect few rewards and considerable punishment in their job, little control of re-inforcement.”
Capel, Sisley and Desertrain (1987) stated that burnout is a “response to chronic job related stress for people in helping or service professions occurring when the demands of the job exceed one’s endurance and ability to cope with, as the individual is overwhelmed by the stress of work.”
Whenever an individual is in long term exploited by emotional situations, this results in the imbalance in terms of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion and the individual is burnout (Pines and Aronson, 1988).
- Quote paper
- Ruchi Sachdeva (Author), 2016, Critical approach to burnout in teaching professions, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/340280