At-Risk Teachers: The Association Between Burnout Levels and Emotional Appraisal Processes

Caterina Fiorilli1, *, Alessandro Pepe2, Ilaria Buonomo1, 3, Ottavia Albanese2
1 Human Sciences Department, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy
2 Human Sciences Department, University of Bicocca, Milan, Italy
3 Department of Psychology of Education and Socialization Processes, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

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© 2017 Fiorilli et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Human Sciences Department, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy; Tel/Fax: +39 0668422913; E-mail:



Teachers are at-risk of burnout due to continuous emotional demands. Existing research suggests that there is a strong relationship between the burnout phenomenon and teachers’ propensity to experience unpleasant emotions.


The current study examined whether teachers' levels of burnout affect the process by which they appraise school-life events that elicit negative emotions.


Participants were 316 school teachers. Teachers' appraisal of both students' negative emotion intensity (SAE) and their own negative emotion intensity (TAE) was evaluated via the Emotional Competence Questionnaire. Teachers' burnout levels were measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The main hypothesis was tested by using SEM to assess a full model.


The findings suggest that burnout compromises teachers’ appraisal of both their students’ and their own negative emotion intensity.


We discuss how our main findings may be interpreted and explore their implications for educational settings.

Keywords: Emotional appraisal, Burnout, Teachers, Emotion regulation, SAE, TAE.