NBPTS, National Board certification, burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, reduced personal accomplishment, eductors, teachers, retention, NBCT


Teacher attrition and retention has become a major issue facing education policymakers and practioners as our nation's school age population continues to grow, but the teaching workforce does not. This study seeks to examine the impact of certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) on burnout levels in educators. The potential benefits to teachers who pursue NBPTS certification include a sense of professional pride, new leadership roles and responsibilities for teachers, recognition of outstanding teaching practice, and higher salaries (Shapiro, 1995). Some of these potential rewards seem to address a number of the factors that are related to the onset burnout, and therefore may reduce teacher attrition. The study utilized the Maslach-Leiter conceptual framework to examine burnout, which breaks the burnout construct into three separate dimensions; emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. The research questions sought to determine if there was a difference between National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and their non-certified peers in each of these dimensions of burnout. The research sample consisted of the NBCTs and a comparable random sample of their non-certified peers from a large urban school district in the Central Florida area. The Maslach Burnout Inventory Educators Survey was used a basis of comparison of the burnout levels. The two groups were compared utilizing an independent samples t-test. The instrument utilized in this study also included demographic questions, as well as questions that were designed to measure the various elements of the Maslach-Leiter theoretical model of burnout. These questions and the independent variable NBPTS certification were included in a multiple regression analysis in order to determine if the differences noted between the groups using the independent samples t-tests were in fact a result of NBPTS certification, and not the theoretical model itself. The instruments were mailed in the fall of 2006, and were returned to the researcher anonymously. A total of 476 surveys were returned, for a response rate of 52%. The independent samples t-tests revealed significant differences between NBCTs and their non-certified peers on all three dimensions of burnout. An examination of the individual scores for each group revealed that in each of the dimensions showed that the NBCTs demonstrated lower levels of experienced burnout in each dimension. The multiple regression analyses that were conducted to confirm that NBPTS certification was in fact a significant factor in the development of each burnout dimension revealed mixed results. Emotional exhaustion and reduced personal accomplishment were both found to have a significant negative relationship with NBPTS certification, which indicates that the NBCTs are significantly less burned out then their non-certified peers. Despite the initial finding of significance in the independent samples t-test, NBPTS certification was not found to be a significant factor in the onset of the depersonalization dimension of burnout. This relationship needs further exploration in future studies. The significant difference between the research and control groups in this study suggests that NBPTS certification may reduce burnout levels in at least two dimensions. Legislators and policymakers at the state and federal levels have provided millions of dollars to support NBPTS certification. These findings seem to indicate that this financial support has impacted burnout levels in educators, and may therefore warrant examination as a strategy to address the issue of teacher attrition.


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Graduation Date





Martin, Lawrence


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs


Public Administration

Degree Program

Public Affairs








Release Date

April 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)