NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Burnout: the risk of physical assault.

Pinder ED; Gerberich SG; Alexander BH; Church TR; Hansen J-IC; Ryan AD
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2008 Oct; :G2.2
Introduction: Burnout, which can emerge from chronic stressors, has been associated with absenteeism and lower organizational commitment, cardiovascular disease, and sleep disturbances. Burnout is defined as an affective reaction to ongoing stress caused by the gradual depletion over time of an individual's energetic resources. These reactions in teachers can include negative attitude and cynicism towards students. Teachers may repeatedly react to disruptive and aggressive students with criticism and punishment, rather than using positive attention to control a situation. This can potentially lead to anger and defiance among students and, consequently, cause them to attack teachers. While burnout has been assessed in teachers, it has not been examined previously as a possible risk factor for physical assault. Methods: A nested case-control study of licensed Minnesota educators (n = 290 cases and n = 867 controls) examined burnout, using the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure Version 2, as a risk factor for physical assault. Cases reported at least one physical assault in the past 12 months and reported on exposures from the month prior to assault. Controls reported on exposures from a randomly selected period of time in which they worked. Potentially confounding variables were selected for multiple logistic regression analyses, using directed acyclic graphs; re-weighting adjusted for nonresponse and unknown eligibility biases. Results: Compared to those reporting "infrequently" experiencing feelings of burnout, the risk of physical assault was increased for those indicating "Always" (OR = 2.64, 0.94-7.4), "Frequently" (OR = 1.71, 1.032.82), and "Sometimes" (OR = 1.11, 0.77-1.61), and decreased for those indicating "Never" (OR = 0.27, (0.07-0.93). Risk of physical assault increased for those educators in the 80th percentile scoring level compared to others (OR = 1.71, 1.20-2.44). Conclusions: Burnout was associated with increased risk of physical assault. This is a first step in examining violence as an outcome for burnout for this population, and serves as a basis for further in-depth research.
Physiological-effects; Physiological-factors; Physiological-function; Physiological-response; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Humans; Men; Women; Teaching; Education; Workers; Work-environment; Risk-factors; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-exposure; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis; Behavior; Stress; Cardiovascular-disease; Sleep-disorders; Force
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Performing Organization
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division