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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Special Education

First Advisor

Hugh McBride

First Committee Member

Mari Irvin

Second Committee Member

Stephen Trotter

Third Committee Member

Alice Windzer

Fourth Committee Member

Jack Taylor


Early Maladaptive Schemas, as defined by Young (1990), are relatively permanent psychological constructs which influence human information processing. They consist of self-perceptions, attitudes and beliefs which are primarily the result of early childhood experiences. These schemas produce faulty thinking about an individual's self and environment, producing cognitive distortions. They are also the source of dysfunctional behavior as well as a wide range of mental conditions including depression, phobias and anxiety. Burnout is a significant problem among today's teachers which adversely effects the operation of schools (Maslach & Jackson, 1986). It is the result of teachers having to solve complicated problems, on a day-to-day basis, in their classrooms. Solutions to these problems are not always easily reached. This leads to frustration among teachers, culminating in cynical attitudes toward work, hostility toward students, absenteeism and job-leaving. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between Early Maladaptive Schemas and teacher burnout. The Schema Questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) were administered to fifty teachers employed by the Los Banos Unified School District, a middle-sized, suburban school district in central California. Subjects were asked to complete both self-report scales and given reimbursement for doing so. Forty-seven sets of questionnaires were collected. It was found that two of the higher order factors on the Schema Questionnaire, Overconnection (OVRC) and Exaggerated Standards (EXST), correlated strongly with the Emotional Exhaustion (EE) scale of the MBI. Weaker, but still significant, correlations were found between OVRC and the other two MBI factors, Depersonalization (DP) and Personal Accomplishment (PA). These relationships were all in the expected directions. Additionally, correlational data analyses suggested differences in gender, age and years of teaching on some of the Schema Questionnaire and MBI factors. Subsequent statistical analysis of mean differences indicated women scored significantly higher on OVRC and EE than did men. Analysis of mean differences, however, did not substantiate significant differences in scores on the Schema Questionnaire factors and the three MBI factors according to age and years of teaching experience.




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