Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Date of Defense

7-15-2011

Graduate Advisor

Brian Vandenberg, PhD

Committee

Tara Galovski

Peterson, Zoe

Bahr, Michael

Abstract

The current education system in the United States is riddled with difficulties which include an increasing demand for qualified teachers and persistently high attrition rates. Teachers are prone to low job satisfaction, low self-efficacy, as well as increased stress and burnout. Although these problems are widely discussed in the literature, scant intervention research is available. Additionally, existing interventions miss two key elements that may be especially relevant to the challenges faced by educators: acceptance and values. The current study examined the efficacy of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for reducing teacher burnout through a day-long professional development workshop. Thirty-five teachers were assigned to either an experimental (n=20) or waitlist control group (n=15). At three months followup, burnout levels significantly decreased for the ACT group and increased for the control group. Additionally, changes in burnout were mediated by the acceptance of undesirable thoughts and feelings. The current study supports ACT as an effective method for reducing burnout in teachers.

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Psychology Commons

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