Teacher Wellbeing: A Job Demands-Resources Approach

Year: 2018

Author: Granziera, Helena, Collie, Rebecca, Martin, Andrew

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The teaching profession, both in Australia and in other developed countries, faces considerable challenges relating to the retention of well-qualified teachers (Weldon, 2018). Although much research has focused on teachers’ negative experiences of the workplace (e.g., stress, burnout; Chang, 2009), fewer studies have sought to understand factors promoting positive workplace experiences. However, some models have sought to better conceptualise more positive processes. Chief among these is the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model (Demerouti et al., 2001), which suggests that the characteristics of work environments – job demands and job resources – can act to facilitate either a motivational process or a health impairment process (Xanthopoulou et al., 2007). Although the JD-R model has been examined in samples of teachers (e.g., Collie & Martin, 2017), there are gaps in our understanding of the processes underlying a range of occupational and personal outcomes, particularly among Australian teachers. Hence, the present investigation harnesses the JD-R framework to consider the interactions between job demands, job resources, and personal resources identified as salient to Australian teachers, and examines their role in facilitating engagement, satisfaction, and occupational outcomes. The present investigation is based on a sample comprising N = 412 primary school teachers from independent and public primary schools across NSW. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the relationships between job demands, job resources, personal resources, wellbeing, engagement, and organisational outcomes. Personal resources were examined by way of teacher self-efficacy and adaptability; job resources were analysed via perceived autonomy support (supervisor), professional development, and collaboration; job demands were examined through workload and role ambiguity; engagement was analysed as a single factor; wellbeing was analysed by way of burnout, job satisfaction, and buoyancy; and finally, the occupational outcomes under examination were organisational commitment, and continuation intentions. Findings indicate a strong and positive relationship between high job resources, work engagement, job satisfaction, and organisational commitment. Conversely, high job demands were associated with burnout and poor measures of wellbeing, which negatively predicted organisational commitment and positively predicted turnover intentions. Taken together, the findings of the present investigation indicate that the resources and demands teachers are exposed to can have a profound impact on their workplace experiences, which in turn have considerable implications for broader organisational outcomes.