Expelling stress for primary school teachers: Self-affirmation increases positive emotions in teaching and emotion reappraisal

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Abstract

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.The aim of the present pilot study was to assess the effect of a brief work-related self-affirming implementation intention (WS-AII) on the well-being of primary school teachers. Participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions: one in which they were asked to create a WS-AII or one in which they were asked to create a control implementation intention (C-II). State anxiety was measured pre- and post-manipulation, self-efficacy at post-manipulation only, and emotions in teaching and emotion regulation at baseline and at a two-week follow-up. There were statistically significant differences between the WS-AII condition and the control. Teachers who created work-related self-affirming implementation intentions reported an immediate reduction in state anxiety. Positive effects extended over the two-week period, with teachers in the WS-AII condition also reporting more positive emotions in teaching and the use of reappraisal emotion regulation strategies rather than emotion suppression. Results suggest that the integration of the WS-AII into existing organisational practice may be of benefit to the well-being of teachers and other highly stressed workers.

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Morgan, J., & Atkin, L. (2016). Expelling stress for primary school teachers: Self-affirmation increases positive emotions in teaching and emotion reappraisal. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13050500

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