ORIGINAL RESEARCH article
Teacher self-efficacy and mental health – Their intricate relation to professional resources and attitudes in an established manual-based psychological group program
- 1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg Medical Center, Germany
- 2Institute of Psychology, Department of Occupational and Consumer Psychology, University of Freiburg, Germany
- 3International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, Germany
Introduction: Teaching is considered a mentally challenging occupation. Teacher self-efficacy is a personal resource which buffers the experience of stress and may be important in maintaining mental health. The preventive intervention “Manual-Based Psychological Group Program for Teachers” (MBPGPT) was applied and evaluated state-wide to improve mental health of teachers. This study aims to investigate the intricate relation between teacher self-efficacy and mental health and their changes in the course of the intervention.
Method: Using a single-group pre-post design, the relation between teacher self-efficacy and mental health was investigated in 742 teachers. Pre-post changes in teacher self-efficacy and their interaction with mental health were examined in a subsample of 171 teachers, who met the conservative inclusion criteria. In ancillary analyses, correlations with underlying changes in work-related behavior and experience patterns were analyzed to better understand the intricate link between teacher self-efficacy and mental health.
Results: Teacher self-efficacy showed a significant, moderate correlation with mental health. Self-efficacy was moderately higher after the intervention than before the intervention, but independent of changes in mental health. Teacher self-efficacy was related to work-related psychological resistance and positive emotions. An increase in teacher self-efficacy was accompanied by an improvement in life satisfaction and distancing ability. A decrease in teacher self-efficacy went hand in hand with a reduced experience of social support.
Discussion: This study confirmed teacher self-efficacy as an important, reliable resource and its correlation with psychological resistance. The absence of a control group limits what causal conclusions can be drawn from the study. Nevertheless, self-efficacy seems to be a worthwhile goal of preventive interventions for teachers and should be promoted due to its wide-ranging implications. Suggestions for further studies and interventions are made.
Keywords: teachers, self-efficacy, Mental Health, Teacher health, prevention, manual-based intervention, work-related behavior and experience patterns (AVEM)
Received: 05 Nov 2019;
Accepted: 06 Apr 2021.
Copyright: © 2021 Von Münchhausen, Braeunig, Pfeifer, Göritz, Bauer, Lahmann and Wuensch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
* Correspondence: Dr. Alexander Wuensch, University of Freiburg Medical Center, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Freiburg, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org