Teachers' Emotional Exhaustion: Associations With Their Typical Use of and Implicit Attitudes Toward Emotion Regulation Strategies.
ABSTRACT: Teaching is an emotionally challenging profession, sometimes resulting in high levels of teacher stress, burnout, and attrition. It has often been claimed that certain emotion regulation strategies can lower teachers' feelings of burnout. The use of cognitive reappraisal (i.e., cognitively changing the emotional impact of a situation) has generally been associated with positive outcomes, whereas using expressive suppression (i.e., inhibiting emotional responses) usually has negative consequences. The present study investigated the association between teachers' typical use of these two emotion regulation strategies (i.e., cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression) and their feelings of emotional exhaustion. Because there is evidence that regulating emotions could involve higher costs when regulation goes against individual preferences, we also explored the potentially moderating effect of teachers' implicit attitudes toward emotion regulation versus emotion expression on the association between typical use of emotion regulation strategies and teachers' emotional exhaustion with an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We included the interpersonal teacher-student relationship (in terms of teacher agency and communion), teacher experience, and teacher gender as covariates in our analyses. Participants were 94 teachers in secondary education, vocational education, and teacher training for secondary education. Replicating findings from prior studies, hierarchical regression analyses showed that typical use of cognitive reappraisal, but not expressive suppression, was significantly related to lower levels of teachers' emotional exhaustion. Teachers' implicit attitudes toward emotion regulation versus emotion expression moderated the relationship between the use of emotion regulation strategies and emotional exhaustion, but only in a subsample with more experienced teachers. Teachers who showed more interpersonal agency in class and had more years of teaching experience reported lower levels of emotional exhaustion. Interpersonal communion and gender were not directly associated with feelings of exhaustion. Implications for teacher training and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Project description:Based on an adjusted Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model that considers the mediation of personal resources, this study examined the relationships between two characteristics of teachers' work environment (i.e., emotional job demands and trust in colleagues) and two indicators of teachers' well-being (i.e., teaching satisfaction and emotional exhaustion). In particular, the study focused on how emotion regulation strategies (i.e., reappraisal and suppression) mediate these relationships. Data collected from a questionnaire survey of 1115 primary school teachers in Hong Kong was analyzed to test the hypothesized relationships. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that: (1) the emotional job demands of teaching were detrimental to teacher well-being, whereas trust in colleagues was beneficial; (2) both emotion regulation strategies mediated the relationships between both emotional job demands and trust in colleagues and teacher well-being; and (3) teachers who tend to use more reappraisal may be psychologically healthier than those tend to adopt more suppression. These findings support the applicability of the JD-R model to school settings and highlight the role of teachers' emotion regulation in teachers' well-being. Implications for the improvement of school environments and teachers' well-being are identified.
Project description:Teachers' social-emotional competence is considered important in order to master the social and emotional challenges inherent in their profession and to build positive teacher-student relationships. In turn, this is key to both teachers' occupational well-being and positive student development. Nonetheless, an instrument assessing the profession-specific knowledge and skills that teachers need to master the social and emotional demands in the classroom is still lacking. Therefore, we developed the Test of Regulation in and Understanding of Social Situations in Teaching (TRUST), which is a theory-based situational judgment test measuring teachers' knowledge about strategies for emotion regulation and relationship management in emotionally and socially challenging situations with students. Results from three studies (N = 166 in-service teachers, N = 73 in-service teachers, N = 107 pre-service teachers) showed satisfactory internal consistency for both the emotion regulation and relationship management subtests. Furthermore, confirmatory factor analyses supported the differentiation between the two facets of social-emotional competence. Regarding convergent validity, results from Study 3 revealed a positive association between the profession-specific TRUST and pre-service teachers' general emotional intelligence. Furthermore, small to moderate correlations with the Big Five personality traits provided evidence for the discriminant validity of TRUST. In Studies 1 and 2, we found evidence for a correlation with external criteria, that is, teachers with higher test scores reported providing more emotional support for students and having better teacher-student relationships. For teachers' occupational well-being, we found a link with symptoms of depersonalization and job satisfaction, but none for emotional exhaustion. We will discuss the use of TRUST in research, for the evaluation of interventions, in teacher education, and professional development and will illustrate ideas for enhancing the tool.
Project description:It has long been thought that emotional intelligence (EI) involves skillful emotion regulation, but surprisingly little is known about the precise links between EI and emotion regulation. To address this gap in the literature, we examined the relation between EI-operationalised as an ability-and the use of two common emotion regulation strategies-cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. Seven hundred and twelve participants from a community sample in Spain were assessed on ability EI (using the MSCEIT) and emotion regulation (using the ERQ). Findings revealed that EI ability was positively associated with cognitive reappraisal and negatively associated with expressive suppression. These relationships were moderated by gender and age. The strength of the association between EI and cognitive reappraisal increased with age for men, while this strength decreased with age for women. Conversely, the strength of the association between EI and suppression decreased with age for men, but increased with age for women. These findings confirm the expectation that EI is associated with greater use of generally adaptive forms of emotion regulation (reappraisal), and lesser use of generally maladaptive forms of emotion regulation (suppression), although effect sizes were quite modest. Observed differences in the strength of associations between EI and emotion regulation may be the result of gender differences in the development of emotional skills along with cultural changes in emotional education and social norms.
Project description:This study examined the interplay between emotion regulation strategies (reappraisal and suppression) and work-related rumination (affective work rumination and detachment from work) on exhaustion. In all, 1985 participants from three human service occupations (psychologists, teachers, and ministers) completed the web-based survey. The results showed that reappraisal and detachment from work had a negative relation to exhaustion, whereas the relation between suppression and affective work rumination to exhaustion were positively directed. Moreover, results of mediation analyses showed that the associations between emotion regulation strategies and exhaustion were mediated by work-ruminative tendencies. However, results of moderation analyses did not support that work-ruminative tendencies have a conditional effect (i.e., moderate) on the relationship between emotion regulation strategies and exhaustion. The results suggest that work-ruminative tendencies are best understood as a mediator of the emotion regulation strategies - exhaustion relationship. Thus, the study contribute to the understanding of the strategies (and combination of strategies) people use to reduce exhaustion by adding novel insights into the role of person characteristics in the recovery process. We discuss our results in relation to previous research, provide recommendations for future research, and note possible practical implications.
Project description:Patients suffering from mental disorders, especially anxiety disorders, are often impaired by inadequate emotional reactions. Specific aspects are the insufficient perception of their own emotional states and the use of dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies. Both aspects are interdependent. Thus, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) comprises the development and training of adequate emotion regulation strategies. Traditionally, reappraisal is the most common strategy, but strategies of acceptance are becoming more important in the course of advancing CBT. Indeed, there is evidence that emotion regulation strategies differ in self-reported effectiveness, psychophysiological reactions, and underlying neural correlates. However, comprehensive comparisons of different emotion regulation strategies are sparse. The present study, therefore, compared the effect of three common emotion regulation strategies (reappraisal, acceptance, and suppression) on self-reported effectiveness, recollection, and psychophysiological as well as electroencephalographic dimensions. Twenty-nine healthy participants were instructed to either reappraise, accept, suppress, or passively observe their upcoming emotional reactions while anxiety- and sadness-inducing pictures were presented. Results showed a compelling effect of reappraisal on emotional experience, skin conductance response, and P300 amplitude. Acceptance was almost as effective as reappraisal, but led to increased emotional experience. Combining all results, suppression was shown to be the least effective but significantly decreased emotional experience when thoughts and feelings had to be suppressed. Moreover, results show that greater propensity for rumination differentially impairs strategies of emotion regulation.
Project description:Life span emotional development theories propose age differences in emotion regulation tendencies and abilities. Research on age-related positivity has identified age differences in attention to emotional content, which may support emotion regulation in older age. The current research examines the roles of age and attention under various emotion regulation instructions. We measured younger (N = 92) and older (N = 88) adults' fixation to negative emotional content and continuously rated affect during normal viewing and instructions to regulate. Those instructed to regulate first did so generally, then using detached or positive reappraisal and expressive suppression. Older adults (OAs) fixated less than younger adults (YAs) in negative areas regardless of instructions, suggesting broad age-related attentional tendencies. In contrast to some previous research, between-subjects analyses showed no age differences in effects of either form of reappraisal or suppression on affect. Within-subject analyses showed specific regulation instructions predicted less negative affect than general instructions for both age groups. Attention was unrelated to affect for both YAs and OAs across instructions. In sum, this research presents pervasive attentional preferences away from negative material in OAs as well as evidence of successful reappraisal and suppression in both age groups. Looking patterns, however, seemed unrelated to emotion regulation instructions' effects on mood for either age group. Age differences in attentional patterns may therefore not translate into age differences in subsequent emotion regulation success. (PsycINFO Database Record
Project description:This study addresses three questions: How often and how consistently do predictors for emotion regulation choice occur in daily life? What predicts emotion regulation choice in daily life? How do predictors for emotion regulation choice interact in daily life? We examined emotion regulation goals (i.e., prohedonic and social goals), situational factors (i.e., perceived control, expected reoccurrence, and emotional intensity), and emotion regulation strategies (i.e., active coping, distraction, rumination, cognitive reappraisal, and expressive suppression) in negative emotion events. A total of 110 individuals (65% female) participated in an experience sampling study and received beeps, five times a day over the course of 9 days. We used a random intercept model to estimate our results. Emotion regulation goals and situational factors vary strongly in different events within the same person. Emotion regulation strategies, effective in changing the emotional experience, are crucial for prohedonic goals, whereas expressive suppression is important for social goals. Perceived control was positively associated with putatively adaptive strategies. Emotional intensity and expected reoccurrence were negatively associated with putatively adaptive strategies. Emotional intensity was positively associated with putatively maladaptive strategies. Emotion regulation strategies were not associated with the interaction of emotion regulation goals and situational factors. We conclude that emotion regulation goals and situational factors are extremely context-dependent, suggesting that they should be treated as states. Emotion regulation goals appear to have a functional association with strategies for prohedonic and social goals. The associations between situational factors and strategies in daily life appear to be largely different from the results found in the laboratory, emphasizing the importance of experience sampling studies.
Project description:The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigated how trait neuroticism and its heterogeneous subdimensions are related to the emotional consequences and neural underpinnings of emotion regulation. Two levels of neuroticism assessments were conducted with 47 female subjects, who were required to attend to, suppress emotion displays to, or cognitively reappraise the meanings of negative images. The results showed reduced emotional experience and bilateral amygdala activation during reappraisal, and this regulation effect is unaffected by individual differences in neuroticism and its subdimensions. By contrast, the emotion downregulation effect of suppression in the right amygdala is compromised with increasing self-consciousness but not overall neuroticism dimension. This association holds robust after controlling the potential contribution of habitual suppression. Moreover, the psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis revealed that self-consciousness predicts weaker functional coupling of the right amygdala to supplementary motor area and putamen during expressive suppression, two regions mediating the control and execution of motor actions. These findings suggest that self-consciousness predicts increased difficulty in emotional regulation using expressive suppression; and that the heterogeneous nature of trait neuroticism needs to be considered in exploring the association of neuroticism and emotion regulation.
Project description:Emotions can occur during an emotion-eliciting event, but they can also arise when anticipating the event. We used pupillary responses, as a measure of effortful cognitive processing, to test whether the anticipation of an emotional stimulus (positive and negative) influences the subsequent online processing of that emotional stimulus. Moreover, we tested whether individual differences in the habitual use of emotion regulation strategies are associated with pupillary responses during the anticipation and/or online processing of this emotional stimulus. Our results show that, both for positive and negative stimuli, pupillary diameter during the anticipation of emotion-eliciting events is inversely and strongly correlated to pupillary responses during the emotional image presentation. The variance in this temporal interplay between anticipation and online processing was related to individual differences in emotion regulation. Specifically, the results show that high reappraisal scores are related to larger pupil diameter during the anticipation which is related to smaller pupillary responses during the online processing of emotion-eliciting events. The habitual use of expressive suppression was not associated to pupillary responses in the anticipation and subsequent online processing of emotional stimuli. Taken together, the current data suggest (most strongly for individuals scoring high on the habitual use of reappraisal) that larger pupillary responses during the anticipation of an emotional stimulus are indicative of a sustained attentional set activation to prepare for an upcoming emotional stimulus, which subsequently directs a reduced need to cognitively process that emotional event. Hence, because the habitual use of reappraisal is known to have a positive influence on emotional well-being, the interplay between anticipation and online processing of emotional stimuli might be a significant marker of this well-being.
Project description:Theoretical accounts of emotion regulation (ER) discriminate various cognitive strategies to voluntarily modify emotional states. Amongst these, attentional deployment (i.e. distraction) and cognitive change (i.e. reappraisal), have been shown to successfully down-regulate emotions. Neuroimaging studies found that both strategies differentially engage neural structures associated with selective attention, working memory and cognitive control. The aim of this study was to further delineate similarities and differences between the ER strategies reappraisal and distraction by investigating their temporal brain dynamics using event-related potentials (ERPs) and their patterns of facial expressive behavior. Twenty-one participants completed an ER experiment in which they had to either passively view positive, neutral and negative pictures, reinterpret them to down-regulate affective responses (reappraisal), or solve a concurrently presented mathematical equation (distraction). Results demonstrate the efficacy of both strategies in the subjective control of emotion, accompanied by reductions of facial expressive activity (Corrugator supercilii and Zygomaticus major). ERP results indicated that distraction, compared with reappraisal, yielded a stronger and earlier attenuation of the late positive potential (LPP) magnitude for negative pictures. For positive pictures, only distraction but not reappraisal had significant effect on LPP attenuation. The results support the process model of ER, separating subtypes of cognitive strategies based on their specific time course.