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Do emotionally exhausted teachers really feel so bad? : The role of emotional exhaustion in self-reported state and trait emotions of teachers

Do emotionally exhausted teachers really feel so bad? : The role of emotional exhaustion in self-reported state and trait emotions of teachers

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KELLER, Melanie M., Thomas GÖTZ, Jason L. RINGO, Eva BECKER, 2012. Do emotionally exhausted teachers really feel so bad? : The role of emotional exhaustion in self-reported state and trait emotions of teachers. 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Vancouver, Canada, 13. Apr 2012 - 17. Apr 2012. In: Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, Canada. 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Vancouver, Canada, 13. Apr 2012 - 17. Apr 2012

@inproceedings{Keller2012emoti-34744, title={Do emotionally exhausted teachers really feel so bad? : The role of emotional exhaustion in self-reported state and trait emotions of teachers}, year={2012}, booktitle={Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, Canada}, author={Keller, Melanie M. and Götz, Thomas and Ringo, Jason L. and Becker, Eva} }

Becker, Eva Ringo, Jason L. Do emotionally exhausted teachers really feel so bad? : The role of emotional exhaustion in self-reported state and trait emotions of teachers 2012 Becker, Eva Theoretical framework: When comparing teaching to other professions, it has been found that teachers are more prone to emotional exhaustion (as the central component of burnout; Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). Emotional exhaustion is linked to psychological health and associated with teachers’ job satisfaction and engagement (Wolin, Burke, & Greenglass, 1991; Hakanen, Bakker, & Schaufeli, 2006). Despite a lack of empirical support, a close relation between emotional exhaustion and teachers’ actual emotion experiences in class is suggested (Chang, 2009): Emotionally exhausted teachers should experience decreased levels of positive and increased levels of negative emotions during teaching. Yet studies on teacher emotions focus almost exclusively on trait-based assessments of emotions rather than in-situ emotional experiences. However, trait-based self-reports of emotions are susceptible to cognitive bias (e.g., trait-anxiety is typically overestimated compared to state-anxiety; Scollon, Kim-Prieto, & Diener, 2003). An individual’s general beliefs about emotions will likely influence the process of accessing and retrieving relevant information regarding emotion experiences (Robinson & Clore, 2002). Accordingly, emotional exhaustion might play a role with respect to one’s beliefs about emotions resulting in higher state-trait discrepancies.<br /><br />Objectives: In the present study, our aims were to investigate (1) whether emotional exhaustion predicts teachers’ emotional experience in class (state), (2) whether teachers’ trait-emotions are reliable and valid measures with reference to their state-emotions, and (3) how emotional exhaustion relates to state-trait discrepancies in teacher emotions.<br /><br />Method: Teachers’ (N=36, 56% female, Mage=44.1) general emotional experience in class (trait-emotions enjoyment, pride, anxiety, anger, shame and boredom) and emotional exhaustion (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) were assessed on five-point Likert scales in a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. In addition, state-emotions of teachers were considered: Teachers completed single-item measures corresponding to the trait-assessments via the Experience Sampling Method (Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1987) at randomly selected time points once per lesson for two weeks. Therefore, our data represents a two-level structure (measures within persons) that allows for cross level effects to be investigated.<br /><br />Results: Our findings showed that emotional exhaustion (trait) significantly predicted teachers’ experience (state) of enjoyment, anger and shame but not pride, anxiety or boredom. Furthermore, emotionally exhausted teachers experienced lower enjoyment yet greater anger and shame. We also found that teachers’ trait-emotions (with the exception of anxiety) significantly predicted their state-emotions; interestingly, teachers tended to overestimate the intensity of all trait-emotions with respect to their state-emotions (cognitive bias). The resulting state-trait discrepancies were influenced by teachers’ emotional exhaustion, such that, while high emotional exhaustion led to larger discrepancies for negative emotions, they did not mirror this effect for positive emotions. Implications: These findings could prove beneficial when designing future studies dealing with teacher burnout. By elucidating the relationship that exists between emotional exhaustion and the emotions teachers experience within the classroom, as well as the apparent state-trait discrepancies, the vital predicament of teacher burnout might be better understood and treated. Keller, Melanie M. 2016-07-09T12:16:24Z Ringo, Jason L. eng Keller, Melanie M. Götz, Thomas Götz, Thomas 2016-07-09T12:16:24Z

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