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As teachers seek to educate and transform lives, often with limited resources and time, they can experience varying levels of stress and emotional exhaustion, particularly if effective emotion regulation strategies are not employed. The experience of teacher stress may be heightened in alternative schools that provide educational opportunities for students who present with complex needs and are ‘at-risk’ of withdrawing from the conventional school system. This case study explored the perceived outcomes of a 6-week school-based mindfulness program to manage stress and support the emotion regulation of four teachers at a metropolitan Australian alternative school. The study took a mixed-methods approach to data collection, which included self-report questionnaires, interview responses and journal reflections. A number of limitations, such as small sample size and lack of experimental design, had an impact on the generalisability of the study’s findings. However, a range of beneficial outcomes emerged in association with the mindfulness program, revealing that participants experienced increased levels of both mindfulness and emotion regulation ability, in conjunction with decreased stress and emotional exhaustion levels.
Teaching is one of the most stressful occupations. This study explores how teachers’ psychological capital — a combination of hope, resilience, optimism and self-efficacy — is related to stress, wellbeing, appraisal and coping. Teachers (n = 1502) across New Zealand and from a range of teaching levels completed surveys. Participants with more psychological capital reported less stress and more wellbeing, saw work demands more as challenges than threats, and reported using more task-focused and less emotion-focused coping strategies. Psychological capital appeared to be directly related to increased wellbeing and reduced stress. Given the importance of teacher wellbeing for the profession and for students, we need ways to build teachers’ personal resources and, importantly, to ensure that teaching environments support wellbeing.
The present study explored the associations among positive psychological traits, school functioning, and psychological adjustment of elementary schoolchildren. Participants included 392 children in Grades 6–8 attending a Turkish public elementary school. There were 48.2% (189) female and 51.8% (203) male participants, and they ranged in age from 11 to 14 years (M = 12.83, SD = .94). Findings of the study indicated that youths with high positive psychological traits reported higher levels of prosocial behaviour, school belonging and academic achievement, and lower levels of externalising and internalising problems. Path analysis outcomes revealed that the positive psychology constructs had significant and large associations with prosocial behaviour, school belonging, internalising and externalising problems, as well as small-to-large associations with student academic achievement. Overall, the combination of these positive traits, namely covitality, had stronger associations with youths’ school functioning and psychological adjustment than the constructs that comprise covitality. The outcomes suggest substantial associations between positive psychological traits and youths’ school-based and psychological characteristics.
Test anxiety is experienced by 10–40% of students. The physical symptoms associated with test anxiety may be more likely to be exhibited by elementary students. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) has been demonstrated to reduce physical symptoms of anxiety and could be used in the classroom, but teacher acceptability of PMR for test anxiety has not been assessed. This study used a vignette format to survey 404 first through fifth grade teachers on their acceptability of classroom-based PMR as an intervention for test anxiety. Good levels of acceptability were found for implementation with a school psychologist or counsellor, CD player, or digital music player. Special education teachers reported slightly lower levels of acceptability for using PMR in the digital music player scenario. With good levels of teacher acceptability of PMR to address test anxiety, school psychologists and counsellors may be more likely to recommend the use of PMR in classrooms. Implications for implementation of PMR to reduce test anxiety, study limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Development of academic hatred was examined at four time points across 7 months among 1,015 South Korean high school students. A multilevel growth model showed that the baseline of, and change in, academic hatred varied across individuals and classrooms. At the individual level, gender, parents’ academic pressure, depression, and test anxiety were related to the initial level of academic hatred; gender and test anxiety were associated with a decrease in academic hatred over time. At the class level, lower socio-economic status and higher teachers’ autonomy support were associated with a lower baseline of academic hatred, and higher teachers’ autonomy support decreased academic hatred. Influence mechanisms of protective and risk factors on students’ academic hatred can be considered for strategic and policy interventions.
The aim of this study was to examine the direct and indirect effects (via mental toughness) of strength-based parenting on adolescents’ psychological distress and subjective happiness. Participants included 370 adolescents (M = 15.86 years, SD = 0.50, range = 14–18 years, 51.6% girls) attending public high schools in Turkey. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires that included measures of strength-based parenting, mental toughness, psychological distress, and subjective happiness. Findings provided evidence of both direct as well as indirect effects (via mental toughness) of strength-based parenting on adolescents’ psychological outcomes. Specifically, results showed that strength-based parenting was negatively and directly related to psychological distress, and positively and directly related to subjective happiness. In addition, strength-based parenting was indirectly related to psychological distress and subjective happiness through mental toughness. The findings highlight the importance of strength-based parenting and mental toughness on psychological outcomes in adolescents.
The aim of the current study is to examine the quality of sibling relationships in relation to family functioning in Greek families with typically developing school-age children. The sample: 251 intact Greek families with two children (251 parents — 1 parent participated from each family — and 251 children). Research instruments: (a) the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales III (FACES III; Olson, 1986), administered to both parents and children), (b) the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire (SRQ; Furman& Buhrmester, 1985); and (c) the family constellation: number of children, birth order, gender and socioeconomic level. According to the findings, the quality of a sibling relationship is associated with family cohesion and adaptability. Regarding children’s gender, the Warmth/Closeness scale is lower in families with children of different gender compared to families with children of the same gender. Regarding birth order, first-born children report higher levels of cohesion (ideal and actual), as well as higher Warmth/Closeness (children and parents), in comparison to the second-born children. Regarding parental educational level, parents and children report a higher level when it comes to ideal family and cohesion type (ideal level), as well as higher Warmth/Closeness (parents) when at least one of the parents has a university education background.
Theoretical explanations suggest that insight might increase life satisfaction by helping individuals choose a suitable academic major, indicating that insight might facilitate life satisfaction through academic major satisfaction. The current study thus investigates the mediating role of academic major satisfaction in the potential relationship between insight and life satisfaction. The data collected from a sample of 206 undergraduate students majoring in education degree programs confirm that the relationship between insight and life satisfaction is fully mediated by academic major satisfaction, with a model explaining 23% of the total variance in life satisfaction. The findings have important implications for the design and implementation of career counselling and guidance services provided within high school and university settings, particularly in countries such as Turkey where career counselling services need improvement.