Relationships among Teaching Multiple School Subject Role Conflict, Resilience, and Personal Accomplishment: Structural Equation Modelling

Year: 2019

Author: Iannucci, Cassandra, Richards, K., Andrew, R., MacPhail, Ann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Context: Role-related stressors, including role conflict, have been linked to burnout among teachers. Recent research has identified that teachers responsible for concurrently teaching physical education and another school subject(s) may experience teaching multiple school subjects role conflict (TMSS-RC). This is a phenomenon that is potentially most prevalent in countries where teachers are multi-subject qualified in their teacher education programmes, such as Australia, Canada, and half of Europe. Resilience, which is the ability to recover from stressful situations, has been presented as an interpersonal construct believed to reduce role stress. Contribution: Currently, no research has examined the relationship between TMSS-RC and positive social psychological variables such as resilience and personal accomplishment (PA). There is a need to further understand how such variables can help teachers cope with the stressors related to TMSS-RC so as to inform preservice teacher education and inservice professional development programming for educators who teach multiple subjects. The purpose was to develop a quantitative understanding of the relationships among PA, resilience, and TMSS-RC in Irish secondary school teachers. Methods: Participants included 259 teachers responsible for teaching physical education and another school subject/s concurrently. Participants completed a survey consisting of the TMSS-RC scale, PA subscale from the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey, and the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. A conceptual model was developed to theoretically explain the relationships among PA, resilience, and the sub-domains of TMSS-RC, which include status conflict, schedule conflict, and energy expenditure. A structural equation model (SEM) was then used to examine the hypothesised relationships in the conceptual model. Goodness-of-fit indices including; the ratio of ?2 to its df, the non-normed fit index (NNFI), the incremental fit index (IFI), the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR), and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) were used to examine the extent to which the conceptual model fit the data. Results: SEM confirmed that the hypothesised model was a good fit for the data, ?2 (125)= 200.740, p<.001; RMSEA= .048 (90% CI= [.04, .06], p= .573), SRMR= .05; NNFI= .957; CFI= .97. Collectively, results indicate that as teachers’ levels of PA and resilience increase, their experiences of TMSS-RC decrease. Thus, feelings of stress related to TMSS-RC can be managed when teachers feel a greater sense of achievement in their work and build resilience in their teaching environments. In turn, this can reduce experiences of prolonged stress leading to burnout.