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ERIC Number: ED563206
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Examining the Relationship between Physiological Measurements and Self-Reports of Stress and Well-Being in Middle School Teachers over One School Year
Katz, Deirdre A.; Harris, Alexis R.; Abenavoli, Rachel M.; Greenberg, Mark T.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Educators are exposed to a variety of stressors, which can lead to poorer teaching performance, burnout, and increased student misbehavior (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). Although self-report measures of stress are most commonly used in education research, physiological measures of stress may also contribute to the understanding of educators' stress, as well as their responsiveness to interventions designed to reduce stress and promote well-being. Some studies show a relationship between self-reported burnout and cortisol levels. Salivary alpha amylase (sAA) research indicates that it is a highly sensitive indicator of changes caused by psychological stressors (Granger, Kivlighan, El-Sheikh, Gordis & Stroud, 2007). This study employs an innovative measurement design to facilitate the examination of associations between physiological indicators and self-reported measures related to stress and health. The authors examine associations between salivary biomarkers of teachers at the beginning of the school year and their self-reported levels of stress and burnout both concurrently and in the spring of that school year. This short-term longitudinal study was conducted in two middle schools in Central Pennsylvania over the course of one school year. Self-report and physiological data were collected at two time points: fall 2012 and spring 2013. Results show that salivary markers of stress show a modest relationship to self-reported measures in this sample but that measures of cortisol and sAA are not predictive of spring self-reported burnout or stress. Results did reveal that fall reports of high time urgency were associated with less steep awakening responses in both sAA and cortisol. Two tables and two figures are appended.
Descriptors: Stress Variables, Well Being, Middle School Teachers, Correlation, Measurement Techniques, Physiology, Metabolism, Biochemistry, Teacher Burnout, Anxiety, Reliability, Time Perspective, Longitudinal Studies, Questionnaires
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.sree.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A