Perceived Teacher Self-Efficacy a...
APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW, 2008, 57 , 152���171 doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2008.00359.x �� 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation �� 2008 International Association of Applied Psychology. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Blackwell Ltd Oxford, UKPublishing APPS Applied Psychology 0269-994X 1464-0597 �� International Association for Applied Psychology, 2008 XXX Original Articles TEACHER SELF-EFFICACY AND BURNOUT SCHWARZER AND HALLUM Perceived Teacher Self-Efficacy as a Predictor of Job Stress and Burnout: Mediation Analyses Ralf Schwarzer* Freie Universit��t Berlin, Germany Suhair Hallum Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria Teacher self-efficacy is studied as a personal resource factor that may protect from the experience of job strain and, thus, make the escalation of burnout less likely. The article examines the relationships between self-efficacy, job stress, and burnout, focusing on mediation (self-efficacy ��� job stress ��� burnout). Moreover, it questions whether such a mediation, if found, would be dependent on the levels of other variables (moderated mediation). Study I, with two samples of teachers ( N = 1,203), examined this putative mechanism cross- sectionally and found such an effect, in particular for younger teachers and those with low general self-efficacy. Study II, with 458 teachers, replicated the results longitudinally over a period of one year by employing structural equation models. In a cross-lagged panel design, low self-efficacy preceded burnout. Further research should study these mechanisms by interventions that aim at strengthening teacher self-efficacy as a protective resource factor. L���auto-efficacit�� des enseignants est ��tudi��e comme une ressource personnelle pouvant les prot��ger de l���exp��rience de la contrainte professionnelle et rendre l���escalade dans le burnout moins probable. Cet article examine les liens entre l���auto-efficacit��, le stress au travail et le burnout, en se focalisant sur la m��diation (auto-efficacit�� ��� stress au travail ��� burnout). En outre, il questionne la fa��on dont une telle m��diation, si elle est av��r��e, pourrait ��tre d��pendante du niveau des autres variables (m��diation mod��r��e). La recherche 1 comprend deux ��chantillons d���enseignants ( N = 1,203). Elle examine ce m��canisme crois�� suppos�� et r��v��le un tel effet, en particulier pour les enseignants les plus jeunes et ceux ayant une auto-efficacit�� g��n��rale basse. L�����tude 2 effectu��e aupr��s de 458 enseignants confirme ces r��sultats, obtenus cette fois de fa��on longitudinale sur une p��riode d���un an en employant des mod��les �� ��quation structurale. Ainsi, une auto-efficacit�� basse pr��c��de le burnout. Des recherches plus pouss��es pourraient ��tudier les m��canismes par lesquels des interventions renforcent ou non l���auto-efficacit�� des enseignants comme source de protection. * Address for correspondence: Ralf Schwarzer, Psychology (WE 10), Freie Universit��t Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. Email: email@example.com
TEACHER SELF-EFFICACY AND BURNOUT 153 �� 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation �� 2008 International Association of Applied Psychology. INTRODUCTION Why do some teachers succeed in being good teachers, in continuously enhancing students��� achievements, and in setting and pursuing high goals for themselves, while others cannot meet expectations imposed on them and tend to collapse under the burden of everyday stress? One reason lies in a teacher���s perceived self-efficacy as a job-specific disposition. Teacher engagement is positively associated with personal coping resources, whereas teacher burnout is indicated by a number of negative personality characteristics, including low levels of self-efficacy. Teacher burnout is seen as a result of job strain, that, given the demands of the profession, hits in particular those who lack the appropriate coping resources (Brief & Weiss, 2002 Guglielmi & Tatrow, 1998 Klusmann, Kunter, Trautwein, L��dtke, & Baumert, 2008 Schwarzer & Greenglass, 1999 Vandenberghe & Huberman, 1999). The present article examines the relationships between self-efficacy, job stress, and burnout in two samples of teachers from Syria and Germany ( N = 1,203) with a particular focus on putative mediation (self-efficacy ��� job stress ��� burnout). Moreover, it raises the question whether such a mediation, if found, would be dependent on the levels of other variables (moderated mediation). PERCEIVED SELF-EFFICACY The construct of self-efficacy represents one core aspect of social-cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997). In his unifying theory of behavior change, Bandura hypothesises that expectations of self-efficacy determine whether instrumental actions will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and failures. According to theory and research, self-efficacy makes a difference in how people think, feel, and act. In terms of feeling, a low sense of self-efficacy is associated with depression, anxiety, and helplessness. Persons with low self-efficacy also have low self- esteem, and they harbor pessimistic thoughts about their accomplishments and personal development. In terms of thinking, a strong sense of competence facilitates cognitive processes and performance in a variety of settings, including quality of decision-making and academic achievement. Self-efficacy has an influence on preparing action because self-related cognitions are a major ingredient in the motivation process. Self-efficacy levels can enhance or impede motivation. People with high self-efficacy choose to perform more challenging tasks (Bandura, 1997 Schwarzer, 1992). They set themselves higher goals and stick to them. Actions are preshaped in thought, and people anticipate either optimistic or pessimistic scenarios in line with their level of self-efficacy. Once an action has been taken, highly self-efficacious people invest more effort and persist longer than those low
154 SCHWARZER AND HALLUM �� 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation �� 2008 International Association of Applied Psychology. in self-efficacy. When setbacks occur, they recover more quickly and maintain commitment to their goals. High self-efficacy also allows people to select challenging settings, explore their environment, or create new ones. Some people harbor self-doubts and cannot motivate themselves. They see little point in even setting a goal if they believe they do not have what it takes to succeed. The essential distinction between self-efficacy and similar constructs, such as self-esteem, self-concept, locus of control, and so on, lies in the following three aspects: (a) self-efficacy implies an internal attribution (I am the cause of the action), (b) it is prospective, referring to future behaviors, and (c) it is an operative construct, which means that this cognition is quite proximal to the critical behavior, thus being a good predictor of actual behavior. Teacher Self-Efficacy One domain where research on professional self-efficacy has been conducted is teaching in schools. Why do some teachers succeed in continuously enhancing students��� achievements, in setting high goals for themselves, and pursuing these goals persistently, while others cannot meet expectations imposed on them and tend to collapse under the burden of daily stress? There are many reasons, one of which pertains to a teacher���s perceived self-efficacy as a job-specific disposition (Burke, Greenglass, & Schwarzer, 1996 Caprara, Barbaranelli, Borgogni, & Steca, 2003 Schwarzer, Schmitz, & Tang, 2000 Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, & Hoy, 1998). General Self-Efficacy Self-efficacy is commonly understood to be domain-specific. That is, one can have more or less firm self-beliefs in different domains or particular situations of functioning. But there is also a general sense of self-efficacy that refers to global confidence in one���s coping ability across a wide range of demanding or novel situations. General self-efficacy aims at a broad and stable sense of personal competence to deal effectively with a variety of stressful situations (Schwarzer, 1992). If self-efficacy is employed as a predictor of broad outcomes, such as quality of life, well-being, or overall adaptation and health, it is justified to use a correspondingly broad measure of general self-efficacy. An example for such an inventory is the General Self-Efficacy (GSE) scale (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). TEACHER BURNOUT Burnout can be described as a chronic state of exhaustion due to long-term interpersonal stress within human service professions. It pertains to feelings experienced by people whose jobs require repeated exposure to emotionally