Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Nicole C. Ralston

LC Subjects

Burn out (Psychology)--Research; Teachers--Canada; Teachers--Mental health; Teachers--Training; Authentic leadership


The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to develop a new framework for the burnout equation and to examine the relationships which exist among three key factors; teacher burnout, psychological well-being at work, and authentic leadership. Participants in the study included 335 Canadian teachers, 299 of which were from the province of Alberta. The majority of the participants (81%) were classroom teachers, while the remaining participants held specialized positions like counsellor, learning coach, or administrator. Participants filled out a survey containing three instruments: the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction at Work (BPNS-W) scale, and the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ). The survey ended with an optional qualitative question, “Is there anything you would like to add about teacher burnout and your work experience?”

An independent samples t-test revealed the factors of burnout, authentic leadership, and basic psychological needs were significantly different between two subgroups: those who were exhausted and those who were not. Competence stood out with t(333) = 7.89, p < .01 which has an effect size of 0.40 and a Cohen’s d of 0.87. Since each quantitative variable was significantly different between the two subgroups, this suggested that basic psychological needs and authentic leadership were important pieces of the burnout equation. The findings also suggest the relationship between burnout and authentic leadership was mediated by the psychological needs. Coding of the answers from the qualitative question pointed toward inclusion as the current job demand which is burning out teachers.

This study can serve as guidance to school divisions regarding the hiring and training of leaders in the area of authentic leadership. This research also offers critical direction for government policy in terms of funding for education. It is imperative that funding must be in place to support teachers in their work with special needs students.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.