Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Neville Scarfe, Room 304A
Supervisor: Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl (HDLC; Director, Human Early Learning Partnership, SPPH)
Supervisory Committee: Dr. Shelley Hymel (HDLC) and Dr. Amery Wu (MERM)
Title: Building Teacher Resilience: Relations of Self-Compassion Among Teacher Efficacy and Burnout
Teacher burnout is a phenomenon that has received a considerable amount of attention. There is good reason for this, given that growing rates of teacher burnout are associated with many negative consequences including a reduction in teacher quality and increased costs due to high teacher turnover rates. Emerging research indicates that strengthening teachers’ social and emotional competencies (SEC) may lower burnout while promoting feelings of well-being and resilience. The aim of this study was to examine self-compassion, a promising, yet currently under-researched SEC, in relation to other teacher characteristics previously associated with burnout. Data were garnered from the responses of 52 elementary and secondary teachers to a teacher health and well-being questionnaire. Along with the use of correlational analysis, three multiple regression models were used to examine relations among self-compassion, teacher efficacy, and years of teaching experience to the three dimensions of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Findings of the study yielded mixed results. Self-compassion was significantly correlated with all dimensions of burnout when measured using correlational analysis. However, when examined using multiple regression analysis, self-compassion explained only a small amount of variance for emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Furthermore, self-compassion was found to be non-significant in the personal accomplishment model. When examined collectively, self-compassion, teacher efficacy, and years of teaching experience were moderately associated with personal accomplishment, but were non-significantly associated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Implications from this study suggest that efforts to buffer teacher burnout may require development of a myriad of competencies that address the multidimensional aspect of burnout. Findings suggest that self-compassion warrants further examination as a potential competency that may serve to assist in such efforts.