eISSN: 2720-5371
ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
 
1/2022
vol. 31
 
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abstract:
Original article

Predictors of teachers’ mental health – implications for practice

Magdalena Gawrych
1
,
Ewelina Cichoń
2
,
Beata Hintze
1

1.
Institute of Psychology, The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw, Poland
2.
Institute of Psychology, WSB University in Torun, Poland
Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2022; 31 (1): 15-24
Online publish date: 2022/04/14
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Purpose
To identify teachers’ mental health predictors of stress, anxiety and depression within the sociodemographic, health-related, work-related and COVID-19-related factors.

Methods
Between March 3 and April 11, 2021 the cross-sectional national online survey of Polish teachers of all educational levels was conducted. The semi-structured questionnaire used in the study included demographic data (place of residence, gender, age, marital status, education), exposure to people infected with COVID-19, critical life events and pandemic-related stressors, health variables, work-related characteristics (duration of remote teaching), as well as DASS-21.

Results
In 2,757 completed responses, 86% of the respondents were female and the mean age was 46.14 (SD = 9.35); 21.3% had been previously diagnosed with COVID-19; 38.8% of the respondents (n = 1,069) were employed in primary schools (grades 4-8) and 34% worked in the secondary level education. The mean years of work experience in the sample was 20.94 (SD = 10.60).
At the moment of completing the survey, most of the respondents (n = 1,488; 54%) were working on-site, 24% were still working remotely and 22.1% were engaged in the hybrid model. Sociodemographic variables, mental and physical illness, fear of the negative consequences of COVID-19, and the deaths of a family member or friend due to COVID-19 were significant predictors of stress, anxiety, and depression. Stress and depression were also predicted by remote working methods and working in a very large city.
The cases of COVID-19 in groups of co-workers or students predicted only stress. COVID-19 deaths of co-workers/students/parents of students and COVID-19 diagnosis predicted anxiety.

Conclusions
The most vulnerable group of teachers turned out to consist in young women, working in a big city, mostly teaching remotely. Sustainable support and care systems adapted to the teachers’ needs should be developed. Also some essential predictors of mental health deterioration among teachers should be considered when designing long-term prevention strategies.

keywords:

teachers, COVID-19, mental health

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