Emotional Labor and Burnout among Teachers: A Systematic Review

Anna Kariou, Panagiota Koutsimani, Anthony Montgomery*, Olga Lainidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


A significant amount of emotional labor takes place during teaching. Teaching is a multitasking profession that consists of both cognitive and emotional components, with teachers engaging in emotional labor on a daily basis as an instrumental part of achieving teaching goals and positive learning outcomes. The purpose of the present review was to explore the relationship between emotional labor and burnout in school settings. The review focused specifically on teachers from elementary and high schools, between January 2006 and August 2021, and 21 studies fit the inclusion criteria. Overall, the review of the literature supports the significant associations between burnout and emotional labor with the majority of results pointing to the consistent relationship between surface acting and burnout. However, the results regarding the association of deep acting and naturally felt emotions with burnout were mixed. There is considerable scope for improvement in our study of emotional labor in terms of the study designs we employ, the variables we study and our appreciation of the historical and cultural factors that moderate and mediate the relationship between emotional labor and burnout.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12760
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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