The Relationship between Burnout and Trait Emotional Intelligence among Secondary School Teachers in Malaysia

Nur Sakinah Thomas, Seyedehhava Mousavy, Jayakaran Mukundan, Vahid Nimehchisalem


This study investigated the relationship between Burnout and Trait Emotional Intelligence (TEI) among 30 secondary school teachers in Malaysia. The participants were administered the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educator's Survey (MBI-ES) which breaks burnout into three subscales: Emotional Exhaustion (EE), Depersonalization (DP), and Personal Accomplishment (PA). The TEIQue-SF self report questionnaire was also used to elicit information on the respondents’ EI. Descriptive Statistics, including mean and standard deviation, was used to analyze the data. Pearson Correlation Analysis was also used to analyze the correlation between the teachers’ Burnout and TEI scores. Guilford’s (1973) Rule of Thumb was used to determine the strength of the relationship. The results showed significant correlation only between Depersonalization (DP) and TEI. Implications of the study are discussed, and suggestions are given for further research.



Burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment and trait emotional intelligence

Full Text:



Alderson, J. C., Clapham, C., and Wall, D. (1995). Language test construction and evaluation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior 4. New York: Academic Press, pp. 71-81.

Bandura, A. (1995). Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bandura, A. (2006). Autobiography. M. G. Lindzey and W. M. Runyan (Eds.) A history of psychology in autobiography (Vol. IX). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Brody, N. (2004). What cognitive intelligence is and what emotional intelligence is not. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 234–238.

Brotheridge, C. M., and Grandey, A. A. (2002). Emotional labour and burnout: Comparing two perspectives of “people work.” Journal of Vocational Behavior, 60, 17 – 39.

Burke, R. J., and Greenglass, E. R. (1994).Towards an understanding of work satisfaction and emotional well-being of school-based educators. Stress Medicine, 10, 177 – 184.

Carlson, B. C., and Thompson, J. A. (1995). Job burnout and job leaving in public school teachers: Implications for stress management. International Journal of Stress Management, 2, 15 – 29.

Carroll, J.B. (1993). Human cognitive abilities: A survey of factor-analytic studies. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Chan, D. W. (1998). Stress, coping strategies and psychological distress among secondary school teachers in Hong Kong. American Educational Research Journal, 35, 145 – 163.

Cherniss, C. (2000). Emotional Intelligence: what it is and why it matter. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. April; New Orleans, LA.

Cherniss, C. and Adler, M. (2000). Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Alexandria, Virginia: ASTD.

Dunham, J. (Ed.). (1992). Stress in the workplace: Past, present, and future. Philadelphia, PA: Whurr Publishers, Ltd. emotional intelligence measure. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 707–721.

Fleishman, E., and Harris, E. F. (1962). Patterns of leadership behavior related to employee grievances and turnover. Personnel Psychology, 15, 43-56.

Freudenthal, H. (1973). Mathematics as an educational task. Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel Publishing Co.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Goleman, D. (1998). Working with Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Goleman, D. (2001) ‘Nothing new under the sun’. People Management, 8th February, 7 (3): 51.

Guglielmi, R. S., and Tatrow, K. (1998). Occupational stress, burnout and health in teachers: A methodological and theoretical analysis. Review of Educational Research, 68, 61 – 69.

Guildford, J. P. (1973). Fundamental Statistics in Psychology and Education (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Harrod, R. N., and Sheer, D. S. (2005). An exploration of adolescence emotional intelligence in relation to demographic characteristics. Adolescence, 40 (159).

Hunter, J. E., and Hunter, R. F. (1984). Validity and utility of alternative predictors of job performance. Psychological Bulletin, 96 , 72–98.

Johnson, S., Cooper, C. L., Cartwright, S., Donald, I., Taylor, P., and Millet, C. (2005). The experience of work-related stress across occupations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20, 179 – 187.

Kluemper, D. H. (2008). Trait emotional intelligence: The impact of core-self-evaluations and social desirability. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1402–1412.

Kyriacou, C. and Sutcliffe, J. (1978). Teacher stress: Prevalence, sources, and symptoms. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 48, 159–167.

La Marca, R., Waldvogel, P., Thörn, H., Tripod, M., Pruessner, J., and Ehlert, U. (2010). Cold face test response indicates biopsychological adaptability to acute stress. Revised manuscript under revision.

Lam L.T. and Kirby S.L. (2002). Is emotional intelligence an ad- vantage? An exploration of the impact of emotional and general intelligence on individual performance. Journal of Social Psychology 142(1), 133–143.

Litt, M. D., and Turk, D. C. (1985). Sources of stress and dissatisfaction in experienced high school teachers. Journal of Educational Research, 78, 178 – 185.

Maslach, C. and Pines, A. (1984). Experiencing social psychology; Readings and projects. Alfred A. KNOPF, Inc.

Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E. and Leiter, M. P. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory: Manual(3rd). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Mayer, J., Salovey, P., and Caruso, D. (1998). Competing models of emotional intelligence. In R. Sternburg. Handbook of Human Intelligence (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mikolajczak, M., Luminet, O., Leroy, C., and Roy, E. (2007). Psychometric properties of the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire. Journal of Personality Assessment, 88, 338-353.

Mikolajczak, M., Nelis, D., Hansenne, M., and Quoidbach, J. (2008). If you can regulate sadness, you can probably regulate shame: associations between trait emotional intelligence, emotion regulation and coping efficiency across discrete emotions. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1356–1368.

Mumford, M. D., Zaccaro, S. J., Harding, F. D., Jacobs, T. O., and Fleishman, E. A. (2000). Leadership skills for a changing world: Solving complex social problems. Leadership Quarterly, 11, 11−35.

O’Connor, R. M., and Little, I. S. (2003). Revisiting the predictive validity of emotional intelligence: Self-report versus ability-based measures. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1893–1902.

Ormrod, J. E. (2006). Essentials of Educational Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Petrides, K.V. (2011). Thomas Sample Report for TEIQue : Trait emotional intelligence. K.V. Petrides & Thomas International limited. Retrieved from

Petrides, K. V. (2011). Ability and trait emotional intelligence. In T. Chamorro- Premuzic, A. Furnham, and S. von Stumm (Eds.), The blackwell-wiley handbook of individual differences. 25: 656-678. New York: Wiley.

Petrides, K. V. (2009). Technical manual for the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaires (TEIQue). London: London Psychometric Laboratory.

Petrides, K. V., and Furnham, A. (2003). Trait emotional intelligence: Behavioural validation in two studies of emotion recognition and reactivity to mood induction. European Journal of Personality, 17, 39–57.

Petrides, K. V., Frederickson, N., and Furnham, A. (2004). The role of trait emotional intelligence in academic performance and deviant behavior at school. Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 277-293.

Petrides, K. V., Furnham, A., and Mavroveli, S. (2007). Trait emotional intelligence: Moving forward in the field of EI. In G. Matthews, M. Zeidner, and R. Roberts (Eds.), Emotional intelligence: Knowns and unknowns. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Petrides, K. V., Pérez-González, J. C., and Furnham, A. (2007). On the criterion and incremental validity of trait emotional intelligence. Cognition and Emotion, 21, 26-55.

Petrides, K.V., and Furnham, A. (2001). Trait emotional intelligence: Psychometric investigation with reference to established trait taxonomies. European Journal of Personality, 15, 425-448.

Saklofske, D. H., Austin, E. J., and Minski, P. S. (2003). Factor structure and validity of a trait emotional intelligence measure. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 707–721.

Schutte, N. S., Malouff, J. M., Hall, L. E., Haggerty, D. J., Cooper, J. T., Golden, C. J., and Dornheim, L. (1998). Development and validation of a measure of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 167-177.

Sevdalis, N., Petrides, K. V., and Harvey, N. (2007). Trait emotional intelligence and decision-related emotions. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 1347–1358.

Shahin, V., and Nasser, F. (2011). The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Burnout among Iranian EFL Teachers, Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2: (5), 1122-1129.

Shan, M. H. (1998). Professional commitment and satisfaction among teachers in urban middle schools. The Journal of Educational Research, 92, 67 – 73.

Snarey, J. R., and Vaillant, G. E. (1985). How lower- and working-class youth become middleclass adults: The association between ego defense mechanisms and upward social mobility. Child Development, 56(4), 899-910.

Sternberg, R. J. (1996) The costs of expertise, in: K. A. Ericsson (Ed.) The road to excellence: The acquisition of expert performance in the arts and sciences, sports, and games (pp. 347–354). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Tae, W.M. and Won-Moo, H. (2011). Emotional intelligence, emotional exhaustion, and job performance. Social Behavior and Personality. 39 (8), 1087-1096.

Taylor, G.J. (2001). Low emotional intelligence and mental illness. In J. Ciarrochi, and J.P. Forgas (Eds.), Emotional intelligence in everyday life : A scientific inquiry (pp. 67-81). Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.

Turk, D. C., Meeks, S., and Turk, L. M. (1982). Factors contributing to teacher stress: Implications for research, prevention, and remediation. Behavioral Counseling Quarterly, 2, 1 – 26.

Vandenberghe, R., and Huberman, A. M. (1999). Understanding and preventing teacher burnout: A sourcebook of international research and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Villanueva, J. J., and Sanchez, J. C. (2007). Trait emotional intelligence and leadership self-efficacy: Their relationship with collective efficacy. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 10, 349–357.

Wong, C. S., and Law, K. S. (2002). The effects of leader and follower emotional intelligence on performance and attitude: An exploratory study. Leadership Quarterly, 13, 243-274.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

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

2012-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.