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Abstract

The authors investigated whether the relationship between the contents of emotional social support and job burnout among high-school teachers is spurious because of the role of dispositional positive and negative affectivity. A national sample of 339 teachers was surveyed via a web-based procedure. Hierarchical regression analyses did not support spuriousness; emotional social support was uniquely predictive of three dimensions of burnout controlling for affectivity. As positive emotional social support increased, emotional exhaustion and cynicism decreased, and professional efficacy increased. As negative emotional social support increased, emotional exhaustion and cynicism also increased. Commonality analyses based on the present data and data reported by K. L. Zellars and P. L. Perrewé (2001; Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 459–467) provided additional support for the unique role of emotional social support on burnout, but these analyses suggest a greater role of affectivity than emotional social support. These findings have implications for research on burnout as well as the prevention of burnout among teachers. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.