Stress, positive personal variables and burnout: A path analytic approach
seco ndary education teachers
Theory and practice of education
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AbstractThe notion that personal resources are a powerful screen for the negative influence of stressors in the burnout process is one of the aspects where consensus is more widespread in the domain of Positive Psychology. It is nonetheless true that identifying them and finding out how these “personal strengths or competences” operate would be crucial to improve health and well-being in the workplace. It seems therefore urgent to throw light –from a research perspective– not merely on whether the positive variables play a mediating role between the potential stressors and burnout but also on which the alternative paths are that have an influence on occupational stress. So, the fundamental objective of this study is to analyze a model of influences in which the levels of stress perceived by the teacher from the different disruptive behaviors of the students (verbal abuse at the teacher, aggressions among students, vandalism) are the exogenous variables while the different positive personal variables (optimism, hardiness, life satisfaction) are mediating variables and burnout is the endogenous variable. The results obtained from a sample of 523 secondary education teachers confirm that teacher “resilience” (optimism and hardiness) and life satisfaction mediate the negative impact that stressors from student behavior have on experiencing burnout.