Impact of stress and burnout interventions on educators in high-risk secondary schools

Johnson, Sharon Mary (2013-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study focused on the plight of teachers in the challenging traumatic context of high-risk schools on the Cape Flats, Western Cape, South Africa. Study aims were to measure the stress and burnout of educators and analyse the effect of three different interventions using psycho-educational workshops. Forty-three educators in three secondary schools took part for 15 hours in total over 10 weeks, as well as a control group of 20 teachers. Interventions were grounded in trauma release exercises (TRE), transpersonal psychology (TP) and transactional analysis (TA) practice, and can be conceptualised as primarily physical, emotional and cognitive approaches to stress and burnout prevention. In a mixed-methods study based on the transactional stress model, quantitative data comprised statistical analysis of stress, personal, work and learner-induced burnout and well-being, at the pre- and post-intervention stages. An analysis of the text coding of the educators’ stress, burnout, coping and well-being accounts followed. The study then focused on qualitative thematic analysis of the focus group interviews. Perceived stress was significantly different between the three intervention groups and control group and learner burnout was significantly reduced in the TRE (p=0.02) and TA (p=0.02) groups. There were trends for stress and burnout reduction for the TP group. Coding analysis focused on the intra-and inter-individual TRE, TP and TA tools that had an impact on educators in their efforts to cope with stress and burnout. Focus group interviews gave thematic insights into physical, emotional and cognitive responses to stress and burnout interventions on the individual, interpersonal and organisational levels and revealed new perspectives on classroom competency, with educators taking more responsibility for discipline in the classroom, their greatest stressor. This study indicated that TRE, TP and TA interventions offer educators in high-risk schools physiological, affective and cognitive approaches to dealing with threat and trauma, assisting with stress and burnout reduction, facilitating renewed insights into classroom competency.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het gefokus op die toestand van onderwysers in die uitdagende, traumatiese konteks van hoë-risiko skole op die Kaapse Vlakte van die Wes-Kaap, Suid-Afrika. Die doelstellings van die ondersoek was om stres en uitbranding by onderwysers te meet en om die invloed van drie verskillende intervensies, in die vorm van psigo-opvoedkundige werkswinkels, te analiseer. Drie-en-veertig opvoeders in drie sekondêre skole het oor 10 weke vir 15 uur in totaal deelgeneem, sowel as ‘n kontrolegroep van 20 onderwysers. Die ingrypings is gegrond in die praktyke van trauma-ontladingsoefeninge (trauma release exercises [TRE]), transpersoonlike sielkunde (transpersonal psychology [TP]) en transaksionele analise (transactional analysis [TA]), en kan hoofsaaklik as fisiese, emosionele en kognitiewe benaderings tot die voorkoming van stres en uitbranding gekonseptualiseer word. In ’n gemengde metode studie gebaseer op die transaksionele stresmodel, het die kwantitatiewe data bestaan uit statistiese analises van stres, persoonlike, werks- en leerdergeïnduseerde uitbranding en welstand, vóór en ná die ingrypings. Dit is gevolg deur ’n analise van die tekskodering van die opvoeders se verslae oor hulle stres, uitbranding, behartiging en welstand. Die studie het hierna gefokus op ’n kwalitatiewe tematiese analise van die fokusgroeponderhoude. Waargenome stres het beduidend tussen die drie intervensiegroepe en die kontrolegroep verskil en leerderuitbranding het beduidend in die TRE (p=.02) en TA (p=.02) groepe verminder. Daar was tekens van vermindering van stres en uitbranding in die TP groep. Koderingsanalise het gefokus op die intra- en inter-individuele TRE, TP en TA gereedskap wat ’n impak op opvoeders gehad het in hulle pogings om stres en uitbranding te hanteer. Fokusgroeponderhoude het tematiese insigte oor die fisiese, emosionele en kognitiewe reaksies op stres- en uitbrandingsingrypings op die individuele, interpersoonlike en organisatoriese vlak verskaf, met onderwysers wat groter verantwoordelikheid geneem het vir dissipline in die klaskamer, wat hulle vernaamste stressor is. Hierdie studie dui daarop dat TRE-, TP- en TA-ingrypings aan opvoeders in hoë-risiko skole fisiologiese, affektiewe en kognitiewe benaderings bied om bedreiging en trauma te hanteer. Dit dra by tot ’n vermindering van stres en uitbranding en fasiliteer nuwe insigte in klaskamerbevoegdheid.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85642
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