Absenteeism, burnout and symptomatology of teacher stress: sex differences

Laura Bermejo-Toro, María Prieto-Ursúa


Although numerous studies have been carried out confirming the high levels in the symptomatology of stress and depression in the teaching profession, research focusing on the sex differences in these problems has been both scarce and inconclusive. The objective of this study is to analyze the differences with regards to sex in the incidence of absenteeism, work-related stress, symptomatology of depression, level of burnout and psychiatric symptomatology. The sample consists of 71 teachers, 31 men and 40 women, all of them from Secondary Education. The tools used were the Questionnaire of Teacher Burnout (CBP-R), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Symptomatology Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R) and a socio-demographic and work-situation questionnaire. Female teachers were expected to report higher level of absenteeism whereas their male counterparts were expected to show higher levels of symptomatology, burnout, particularly in Depersonalization, and similar levels of depressive symptoms are expected in both sexes. Results show sex differences only in Somatization, which mean was significantly higher in women than in men, and in the types of illness that caused sick leaves. In conclusion, this research support the results of other studies that have not found different patterns of stress, burnout and depression between female and male teachers.


teacher stress, absenteeism, burnout, depression, sex differences

Full Text:



Abraham, A. (1986). Testimonios sobre las vivencias de las mujeres docentes. In A. Abraham, El enseñante es también una persona (pp. 105-124). Barcelona: Gedisa.

American Psychological Association (2002). Manual de estilo para publicaciones de la American Psychological Association. 5ª edición. México: Manual Moderno.

Antoniou, A.S., Polychromi, F. & Vlachakis, A.N. (2006). Gender and age differences in occupational stress and professional burnout between primary and high-school teachers in Greece. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(7), 682-690.

Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F. & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive Therapy of Depression. New York: Guilford Press.

Beer, J. & Beer, J. (1992). Burnout and stress, depression and self-steem of teachers. Psychological Reports, 71, 1331-1336.

Bekker, M. H., Croon, M. A. & Bressers, B. (2005). Childcare involvement, job characteristics, gender and work attitudes as predictors of emotional exhaustion and sickness absence. Work & Stress, 19(3), 221-237.

Byrne, B. M. (1991). Burnout: Investigating the impact of background variables for elementary, intermediate, secondary and university educators. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research, 7, 197-209.

Byrne, B.M. (1999). The Nomological Network of Teacher Burnout: A Literature Review and Empirically Validated Model. In R. Vandenberghe y A. M. Huberman (Eds.), Understanding and Preventing Teacher Burnout (pp.15-37). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Capel, S.A. (1992). Stress and burnout in teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 15, 197-211.

Cordeiro, J.A., Guillén, C.L., Gala, F.J., Lupiani, M., Benítez, A. & Gómez, A. (2003). Prevalencia del Síndrome de Burnout en los maestros. Resultados de una investigación preliminar. Psicología.com, 7 (1). Retrieved on February 5th, 2004 from www.psiquiatria.com.

Cox, T., Tisserand, M. & Taris, T (2005). The conceptualization and measurement of burnout: Questions and directions. Work & Stress, 19 (3), 187-191.

Derogatis, L.R. (1977). SCL-90-R, Administration, Scoring and Procedures Manual I for the Revised Version of the SCL-90. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

Durán, A., Extremera, N., Rey, L., Fernández-Berrocal, P. y Montalbán, F. M. (2006). Predicting academic burnout and engagement in educational settings: Assessing the incremental validity of perceived emotional intelligence beyond perceived stress and general self-efficacy. Psicothema, 18 supl., 158-164.

Eichinger, J. (2000). Job Stress and Satisfaction Among Special Education Teachers: effects of gender and social role orientation. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 47 (4), 397-412.

Esteve, J.M. (1987). El malestar docente. Barcelona: Laia.

Gil-Monte, P.R., Carlotto, M.S., & Gonçalves Câmara, S. (2011). Prevalence of burnout in a sample of Brazilian teachers. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 25(4), 205-212.

Gonzalez de Rivera, JL, De las Cuevas, C, Rodriguez-Abuin, M & Rodriguez-Pulido, F. (2002). El cuestionario de 90 síntomas. Adaptación española del SCL-90-R. Madrid: Publicaciones de Psicología Aplicada, TEA Ediciones.

Greenglass, E.R., Burke, R.J. & Ondrack, M. (1990). A gender-role perspective of coping and burnout. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 39 (1), 5-27.

Guerrero, E. (1996). Estudio preliminar al síndrome de burnout. Ciencia Psicológica, 3, 63-76.

Kokkinos, C. M. (2007). Job stressors, personality and burnout in primary school teachers. British Journal of Educational Psychology,77, 229-243.

Kyriacou, C. (2001). Teacher stress: directions for future research. Educational Review, 53 (1), 27-35.

Lau, P.S.Y., Yuen, M.T. & Chan, R.M.C. (2005). Do demographic characteristics make a difference to burnout among Hong Kong secondary school teachers? Social Indicators Research, 71, 495-516.

León-Rubio, J.M., León-Pérez, J.M. & Cantero, F.J. (2013). Prevalencia y factores predictivos del burnout en docentes de la enseñanza pública: el papel del género. Ansiedad y Estrés, 19(1), 11-24.

Manassero, M.A., Fornés, J., Fernández, M.C., Vázquez, A. & Ferrer, V.A. (1995). «Burnout » en la enseñanza: análisis de su incidencia y factores determinantes. Revista de Educación, 308, 241-266.

Martínez-Abascal, M. & Bornás, X. (1992). Malestar docente, atribuciones y desamparo aprendido: un estudio correlacional. Revista española de pedagogía, año L, nº 193, 563-580.

Matud, M.P., García, M.A. & Matud, M.J. (2002). Estrés laboral y salud en el profesorado: un análisis diferencial en función del género y del tipo de enseñanza International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 2 (3), 451-465.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W.B. & Leiter, M.P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52 (1), 397-422.

Mearns, J., & Cain, J. E. (2003). Relationships between teachers' occupational stress and their burnout and distress: Roles of coping and negative mood regulation expectancies. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 16, 71-82.

Montgomery, C. & Rupp, A. A. (2005). A Meta-analysis for Exploring the Diverse Causes and Effects of Stress in Teachers. Canadian Journal of Education, 28 (3), 458-486.

Moreno-Jiménez, B., Garrosa, E. & González, J.L. (2000). La evaluación del estrés y el burnout del profesorado: el CBP-R. Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones, 16 (2), 151-171.

Purvanova, R.K. & Muros, J.P. (2010). Gender differences in burnout: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77, 168-185.

Rey, L., Extremera, N. & Pena, M. (2012). Burnout and work engagement in teachers: Are sex and level taught important? Ansiedad y Estrés, 18(2-3), 119-129.

Steinhardt, M.A., Smith Jaggars, S.E., Faulk, K.E., & Gloria, C.T. (2011). Chronic Work Stress and Depressive Symptoms: Assessing the Mediating Role of Teacher Burnout. Stress and Health, 27 (5), 420-429.

Tang, C., Au, W., Schwarzer, R. & Schmitz, G. (2001). Mental health outcomes of job stress among Chinese teachers: role of stress resource factors and Burnout. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22, 887-901.

Vázquez, C. & Sanz, J. (1991). Fiabilidad y validez factorial de la versión española del inventario de depresión de Beck. Barcelona: III Congreso de Evaluación Psicológica.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2000). Women’s Mental Health. An evidence based review. Geneva: WHO.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4471/ijep.2014.10

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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

Legal Deposit: B.34286-2012 | https://ijep.hipatiapress.com | ijep@hipatiapress.com