Teacher Burnout: A psychodynamic existential perspective

Ayala Malach Pines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a psychodynamic existential perspective to teacher burnout. It is based on the assumption that people seek a sense of existential significance through their work and have psychodynamic reasons for their career choice. Ninety-seven Israeli teachers were interviewed using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Results show a significant correlation between lack of significance in teaching and burnout. The qualitative data suggest a tentative relationship between critical childhood experiences and the choice of a teaching career and between goals and expectations when entering teaching and the causes of burnout. Four samples of American teachers were used for a cross-cultural comparison. The lower level of the Israeli teachers' burnout when compared with the American teachers, despite more stressful work conditions, is interpreted as further support for the relevance of the existential perspective to teacher burnout.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-140
Number of pages20
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Teacher Burnout: A psychodynamic existential perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this