Teacher stress and burnout in urban middle schools: Associations with job demands, resources, and effective classroom practices

Jessika H. Bottiani, Chelsea A.K. Duran, Elise T. Pas, Catherine P. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stress and burnout are pervasive among public school teachers and amplified in urban schools, where job demands are often high and resources low. Relatively little is known about factors contributing to stress and burnout among urban school teachers specifically, or how these aspects of teacher occupational wellbeing relate to their use of effective classroom practices. Rather than utilizing objective measures, extant research has relied heavily on teacher self-report of antecedents and consequences of stress and burnout, which have also rarely been examined in tandem. To address this and other gaps in the literature, the current study examined the interplay of job demands and resources, stress and burnout, and effective classroom practices (operationalized as warm-demanding teaching). Two discrete observational measures, in addition to teacher self-report, were collected from a sample of 255 teachers in 33 low-income, urban middle schools. Findings indicated that White teachers, female teachers, and teachers in low-income schools reported higher stress and burnout. Teachers reporting more self-efficacy, affiliation with colleagues, and student emphasis on their academics (i.e., more resources) reported lower stress and burnout; furthermore, adding resources to the model attenuated associations between student disruptive behaviors and stress and burnout. In turn, stress was associated with lower levels of observed demanding teaching (instructional dialogue); however, surprisingly, burnout was related to higher levels of observed teacher warmth (sensitivity). We discuss these findings in light of prior research and consider implications for future research and professional development for teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-51
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of School Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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