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We examined the overlap of burnout with depression in a sample of 184 New Zealand schoolteachers. Burnout and depressive symptoms were strongly correlated with each other (r = .73; disattenuated correlation: .82) and moderately correlated with dysfunctional attitudes, ruminative responses, and pessimistic attributions. All the participants with high frequencies of burnout symptoms were identified as clinically depressed. Suicidal ideation was reported by 36% of those participants. Three groups of teachers emerged from a two-step cluster analysis: “low burnout-depression,” “medium burnout-depression,” and “high burnout-depression.” The correlation between the affective-cognitive and somatic symptoms of depression was similar in strength to the burnout-depression correlation. Consistent with recent results obtained in Europe and the U.S., our findings suggest that burnout is a depressive syndrome.


This work was originally published in the New Zealand Journal of Psychology.



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