Relationship Between Teachers’ Stress and Job Satisfaction: Moderating Role of Teachers’ Emotions
23 Oct, 2017
26 May, 2019
30 Jun, 2019
The present research attempted to investigate the moderating role of teachers’ emotion in teaching on the relationship between teachers’ stress and job satisfaction. It was assumed that teachers’ emotion would moderate the relationship between teachers’ stress and satisfaction with job. The sample of the study (N = 200) included male and female teachers from universities of Multan, Lahore, Sargodha, and Islamabad. To measure study variables, Emotions in Teaching Inventory (Diefendorff et al., 2005), Teachers’ Stress Inventory (Schutz & Long, 1988), and Teacher Satisfaction Scale (Ho & Au, 2006) were used. The results revealed that teachers’ stress was negatively related to positive emotions in teaching and job satisfaction; while, positive emotions were found positively related to job satisfaction. Positive emotions and negative emotions were found to be significant moderators between the relationship of teachers’ stress and job satisfaction. The research highlighted the protruding importance of affiliated emotions of teachers with their jobs; thus, it should be taken into consideration.
The foundation of an organization lays upon the shoulders of its employees thus their dissatisfaction and disturbance can directly affect the processing of organization as a whole (Cox, Griffiths, & Rial-González, 2000). International research shows that teaching is perceived as rewarding by most teachers but that many teachers also report a high degree of stress and symptoms of burnout (Johnson & Birkeland, 2003; Neves & Lens, 2005; Stoeber & Rennert, 2008). Various researches have proved the importance of teachers in the educational system (Jackson, 2012). A good teacher can make a significant difference in society by teaching and letting the students learn at their best. Emotions serve as a powerful vehicle for enhancing or inhibiting learning (Greenleaf, 2002). Linnenbrink and Pintrich (2002) acknowledged, for example, that negative teacher emotions contribute to negative student emotions and lessen the probability students will use cognitive strategies for deeper, more elaborate processing of information. Teacher emotion is now regarded as an important field of research for a number of reasons especially in the context of high rates of teacher attrition due to reduced satisfaction with job, teacher emotional wellbeing has become critical.
Teachers’ Job Satisfaction
The satisfaction of teachers from their job also holds the significant amount of importance in order to have the positive styles of teaching. Moreover, if the stressors are left unaddressed they can largely impact the performance of the teachers that later affect students in the long run. Emmer (1994) reported that teachers experience negative emotions more often than positive ones. When asked to assess the outcomes of their own teaching, teachers referred to feelings of inadequacy and failure, together with anger towards their students (Lortie, 1975). So, in short, we can conclude that emotions play a greater role for teachers and the organization in which they are working. Therefore, in this study the aim is to contribute to the literature regarding moderating role of emotions in teaching in the relationship of teachers’ stress and their satisfaction with job.
The dynamic effect of emotions in teaching is very important to focus in teaching area, especially in Pakistan where the teaching environment is understood to be occupied with favoritism, biasness, and lenient or on the other hand harsh student-teacher relationships. The vital role of emotions in teaching with relationship between teachers’ stress, and satisfaction with job is therefore accounted to be examined in the present study so that steps could be taken to enhance a positive working and quality educational environment in the institutions and it is only possible if the teacher is satisfied and stress load is lowered down.
Generally in academic scenario, educators’ sentiments do exist all time; it is not as a component of individual’s knowledge but as a component of one’s necessary humanistic qualities and it is observable throughout their work. Professional working of an educator is affected from one’s psychological constructs (features of personality & character); and besides profession. In addition, psychological constructs had a great impact on the teacher’s interaction and communication within one’s community, interface with scholars, and collaboration with fellow educators as well as coordination with caregivers. Moreover, with all these features of value and veracity, a teacher exists in a broader communal dogmatic framework, which relates to institutional policies for communal goals. Nevertheless, the passionate and personality features of educators are universal in scholastic milieu; it is strange that very small number of investigations have been carried out about educators’ passionate features affecting their survivals at specific positions (Brackett et al., 2013). Similar shortage of studies has been noticed in the context of students’ learning success against teachers’ passionate features.
There is a significant implication of emotions and motivations on work as it affects the individuals and the organizations considerably. High motivation level and low stress on workplace can make the employees exert greater focus on work and resultantly this leads to increased productivity of the organization. On the contrary, adverse emotions and low motivation bring physical and psychological impairment of individual; this also takes the organization to higher costs. During the recent decades, psychological functioning in the profession of teaching has been in special focus. Today, the rate of turnover in educational institutions and instances of early retirement has raised high as compared to previous times. It is also worth noticing that teachers’ experiences related to motivation and emotions matter seriously in their instructional performance and success.
In this backdrop, this study is meant to focus on negative outcomes, such as stress and burnout, in teaching work and university environment with a particular view on current demands placed upon teaching. The demands faced teachers are bifurcated into two main streams viz. general demands which are applicable to all teachers in all cases and differential demands, applicable to specific teachers in specific situation (Naring et al., 2012). Mental health specialists are of the view that sentiments tend to mould thought pattern of individuals and affect one’s fervor; thus, the individual’s actions are also influenced. Pekrun and Perry (2014) have carried out a thorough analysis of educators’ sentiments and they have generalized the potential impacts of common explorations made in intellectual and mental health. It is mentionable that educator’s personal intellect and enthusiasm can be affect by his sentiments. Consequently, that affects the discernment and knowledge of the scholars.
Generally, job satisfaction is considered as a subjective experience of individuals which forms the perception about job in the mind of employees. Job satisfaction is divided into three general categories. Affective commitment defines the emotional attachment of a person with job. Cognitive component are the convictions by a person regarding the job. Last is the behavioral component that indicates the behaviors of a person towards job (Jex, 2002). Job satisfaction has been researched widely and thus, is explained by variety of methods. In this section, three approaches have been discussed in context with job satisfaction. The first approach attempts to divulge the features of the job and is known as information processing model. In this type of approach employees satisfaction depends on the information they collect regarding their nature of job, environment, and organization as a whole. Second approach deals with the social information collection. According to this approach, employees’ satisfaction depends upon the perception of work by others at workplace. The previous behaviors of the others at the work largely impact the employee’s satisfaction towards job. This approach does not explain the individual processes as affecting the job satisfaction. Thus the model is known as social information processing model. The last approach deals with the individual characteristics of the person and how one perceives the nature of job, and environment of workplace.
The satisfaction of the employee is proposed to be affected by his/her own previous experience or personality (Jex, 2002). Stress is generally defined as the mental or physical reaction towards an event, thought or stimulus (Harvey et al., 2010). Occupational stress being one of the most widely researched topics in order to evaluate performance, satisfaction, or any other process of employee at work (Cox et al., 2000). It is defined that work related stress arises when there is a mismatch between the demands at work and the capability of the employee at given point of time. There are many types of stressors in daily life and the most common and widely spread type of stress that we often heard about is work stress. At the present time, a lot of people complain about the overburden of work, overloading of assignments, under pressure working, meeting deadlines. These all somehow contributes towards forming the situation which turns out to be stressful for workers. The stress at work has been documented in world as a prominent defy to the personal as well as organizational issues (Cox, Griffiths, & Rial-González, 2000).
A study on the organizational commitment of Indian and Irani teachers revealed that organizational commitment of Indian teachers is better in context of affective and normative aspects; whereas teachers in Iran were found to possess more compactness in consistency and continuance (Joolideh & Yeshokhara, 2009). Naderi (2012) has shown that educators are affect by the interaction among the colleagues inside and outside the institutions. They are also affecting by the nature and frequency of interaction with the management. It is very important to see that emotions do have some sort of effect on intelligence. When teachers face conflicts in work they are likely to suffer negative influences of it in most cases these negative influences arrest the taste of innovation and creativity among them. In such situations, teachers are barely participating in the instructional process but they are not creating, not innovating and not producing. So to raise self-motivated innovative and creative instructional effort, organizations must manage to promote emotional intelligence (EI) for educators. This will lead to higher level of satisfaction with the job and deeper affiliation with the organization. The satisfaction with job construct is deliberated below. In another study, Brewer and McMahan-Landers (2014) found that different types of stressors show diverse level of association with satisfaction. Moreover, the research proposed its implication in the field of higher education sectors. The type of stressors that are strongly and negatively related to stress could be addressed by higher authorities. And a frequent assessment along with trainings should be implemented.
Similar to other constructs, a lot of researches have also aimed at exploring the association, effect and prediction among the variables stress and satisfaction. Five main sources that bring stress for teachers are derived that is Students’ demands, profession’s demands, financial scarcity, Evening engagements, and administrative demands (Lacey, 2012). Moreover, Hans, Mubeen, Khan, and Al-Saadi (2014) explored that job stress is high in headmasters due to overload of work while the satisfaction with job is high when they are faced with some challenging work. The negative association between both variables was consistent with past researches. Further, it is researcher’s observation that there are hundreds of students that take influence through teachers. As teachers also project their emotions in educational setting; these emotions are of either kind (positive or negative). Positive emotions can be observed in a teacher when a teacher is fully satisfied working in the institution and may make a display of negative emotions that is stress and anger in unfavorable circumstances. Therefore, the present study attempted to determine the relationship among teachers’ stress, job satisfaction, and emotions and how teachers’ emotions (positive and negative) affect the relationship between stress and job satisfaction in university settings.
Following hypotheses were formulated to fulfill the study objectives:
- There is negative relationship between stress and job satisfaction among university teachers.
- Emotions will likely to moderate the relationship between stress and job satisfaction among university teachers.
The study was completed through correlational research design. Convenient sampling technique was used for selection process of research participants. Sample consisted of 200 university teachers including both males (n = 100) and females (n = 100) from different universities of Lahore, Multan, Sargodha, and Islamabad. The age range of the sample was 28-60 years (M = 34.25, SD = 3.07).
Teachers’ Stress Inventory. Teachers’ stress was measured using Teachers’ Stress Inventory (revised by Schutz and Long, 1988). The shortened version with 36 items that were rated on a 5-point Likert scale was used. The Teacher Stress Inventory identifies what types of situations teachers reported as being stressful and an overall stress score. The items of inventory were grouped into seven categories which include: Role ambiguity; role stress; organizational management; job satisfaction; life satisfaction; task stress; and supervisory support. A high score indicates a higher degree of stress experienced by the participant; while maximum score possible on the scale was 180. Alpha coefficient was found to be .80 in the present study.
Emotions in Teaching Inventory. Emotions were measured using Emotions in Teaching Inventory (Diefendorff et al., 2005) which was designed to assess the associations amid scholars’ sentiments as well as their tactic of educating. This instrument consisted of 20 items with 10 items measuring positive emotions and 10 items measuring negative emotions to be rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). Items in the optimistic sentiments questionnaire contain motivation, pride, conﬁdence, satisfaction, and happiness. Items of the adverse sentiments questionnaire included anxiety, embarrassment, frustration, boredom, and annoyance. Alpha coefficient was found to be .92 for negative emotions and .86 for positive emotions in the present study.
Teacher Satisfaction Scale. Teachers’ job satisfaction was measured using this scale (Ho & Au, 2006) that assess for teachers’ overall satisfaction with their profession. From this questionnaire a score that measures job satisfaction was obtained. The scale consisted of five items that were rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) where high score was indicative of a high degree of teacher satisfaction and a participant can attain maximum score of 25. Alpha coefficient was found to be .78 in the present study.
For the purpose of the present research, the permission to use the scales was taken from respective authors. The letter authenticating the researcher’s identity and the topic under investigation was allocated. Participants were selected through non probability convenient sampling and were approached at their respective universities. They were informed about the rationale of the current study and provided with the booklet containing questionnaires. Instructions were given to the participants in both oral and written manner. They were assured for the confidentiality of the information provided by them. The questionnaires were administered to participants that did not take more than 15 minutes of each participant.
Primarily, the subscales and composite scores were computed for all of the study variables. Pearson Product Moment correlation was administered in order to generate the inter correlations among variables. Moreover, one of the major objectives of the current study was to investigate the moderating role of emotions in teaching between relationship of teachers’ stress and satisfaction with job. This objective was achieved by running moderation analysis through PROCESS (Hayes, 2013).
Inter-correlation for Demographic and Study Variables (N=200)
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001
Table1 reveals that age was found to be non significantly related with all study variables. Salary was found to be positively related to teachers’ stress while negatively related to satisfaction with job. Teachers’ stress was found negatively related to positive emotions in teaching and satisfaction with job. Moreover, positive emotions were also found positively related to satisfaction with job while negative emotions were non significantly related with job satisfaction.
Interaction Effect of Positive Emotions on the Relationship Between
Teachers’ Stress and Job Satisfaction (N=200)
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001
Table 2 shows that teachers’ stress was found negative predictor of job satisfaction while positive emotions in teaching were found to be positive predictor of job satisfaction. The interaction of teachers’ stress and positive emotions in teaching was also found significant. Furthermore, the conditional effects on job satisfaction at different levels of positive emotions in teaching were also analyzed, where at low, moderate, and high levels of positive emotions in teaching; the nature of relationship between teachers’ stress and job satisfaction was found negative.
IInteraction Effect of Negative Emotions on Relationship Between
Teachers’ Stress and Job Satisfaction (N=200)
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001
Table 3 shows that teachers’ stress and negative emotions in teaching were found to be negative predictors of job satisfaction. The interaction between teachers’ stress and negative emotions in teaching was also found significant. Furthermore, the conditional effects on job satisfaction at different levels of negative emotions in teaching were also analyzed, where at low, moderate and high levels of negative emotions in teaching; the nature of relationship between teachers’ stress and job satisfaction was found to be negative.DISCUSSION
The aim of the present was two folded. It attempted to investigate the relationships between teachers’ stress, emotions in teaching, and satisfaction with job. Secondly, the study aimed at revealing the moderating role of positive and negative emotions in teaching between the association of teachers’ stress and satisfaction with job.
The results also revealed the positive and significant relationship between positive emotions and job satisfaction; whereas, the interaction between teachers’ stress and positive emotions in teaching was also found significant for job satisfaction. This result was also consistent with the logic and previous researches. Tan (2017) found that particular demographic and education-related factors which contribute to the stress levels of public university faculty members. Results showed part-time/full-time status, age, job satisfaction, and negative religious coping were significant predictors of faculty stress. In addition, there is significant negative correlation between job satisfaction and stressors related to reward, recognition, and departmental influence. Similarly, though faculty members preferred positive religious coping as a coping strategy over negative religious coping, a significant positive correlation was noted between the two types. Yussuf and Popoola (2016) concluded the results of their descriptive cross sectional survey study in Nigeria and reported high prevalence of stress and reported job dissatisfaction and poor mental health are the major determinants of stress.
Fogarty et al. (1999) explored the role of occupational stressors, coping resources, and negative affectivity, and positive affectivity interact to predict occupational strain and job satisfaction. The study concluded that coping and positive emotions are positively related with job satisfaction and negatively related with job stress; however, coping is found to be a strong predictor of job satisfaction than positive affect. Further, Harzer and Ruch (2015) explored similar constructs in nursing population and concluded that character strength with coping of stressors is related with increased job satisfaction and lower levels of stress. Further, Crawford et al (2010) further explained the phenomena by the level of motivation in workers, the individual with low autonomous motivation perceived jobs demands as taxing, distressing, and engage in work for monetary rewards that consequently lead to the use of passive coping like withdrawal and effect job satisfaction and job performance. Hence, it is inferred that when individuals are faced with some kind of stressors in workplace while having the affective commitment or positive emotions attached to the job then their satisfaction level from the job does not decrease. Moreover, the positive emotion attached to the job motivates employees to work in better way to deal with the stressors thus they are never dissatisfied with their job.
The relationship patterns of negative emotions were also studied. The direct relationship was not found significant but the interaction of teachers’ stress and negative emotions in teaching was significant for job satisfaction. The levels of the moderator were also examined which further divulged that when the negative emotions in teaching are at highest level the relationship between the teachers’ stress and job satisfaction becomes more negative. Therefore, it is necessary for the universities to deal with the environment in order to motivate teachers to establish affective commitment with their workplace and job tasks. Chen (2016) asserted that teachers enjoying positive interactions with students and colleagues, recognition from university, family and public, but experiencing negative emotions in relation to unfair treatment, competition among colleagues, imbalance of work lives, and pressure from society, policy, and educational change.
- Current study employed respondents only from certain leading universities of Punjab province such as University of Punjab, University of Education Lahore, University of Central Punjab, University of Sargodha, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, and University of Southern Punjab and Quaid-Azam University Islamabad.
- Sample of study was comprised on university teachers only.
- Researcher used developed measurement tools that are based on cultural irrelevancy.
- Demographic characteristics of participants were limited to their age and salary.
- Mass of the study must be expanded on national level university teachers.
- Stress, emotions, performance, job satisfaction and way of coping must be studied in future among non-teaching staff of private and public sector universities in Pakistan.
- Unambiguous and cultural relevant measurement tools must be developed to measure the acquired variables.
- Demographic variables must be studied as a moderator between the relationships of study variables.
- Self-efficacy must be investigated as a mediator in the context of predictor and criterion variables.
- Researchers and policymakers must pay attention to the careers of teachers to promote the quality of higher education. There must be workshops and training sessions for them on stress management. It is also recommended that further studies should be conducted on a larger scale to explore different work place stressors and to compare coping strategies against demographic variables.
The current research has its implication in educational and organizational psychology. It contributes towards the literature in order to divulge the importance of emotions in teaching. Emotions in teaching have not been widely researched topic but current research is one of its own types to study the key elements that are responsible for making the learning system better or worst. Moreover, the pathways revealed through the higher order analyses give a unique edge to the current study.CONCLUSION
The current research explored the moderating role of positive and negative emotions in teaching for the relationships between teachers stress and job satisfaction. Through the results of current study it can be revealed that it is highly necessary for universities and institutions to give proper attention towards the teachers stress. The stress can lead teachers towards less satisfaction with jobs which can in turn result in poor retention rates. Therefore, it is important for the universities to make sure the minimum exposure of teachers to stressful environment and encourage healthy and supportive in the institutions. Moreover, it is also important to introduce the regular trainings for teachers in universities regarding stress management. The emotions of teachers towards their workplace largely depend on the environment they get and who well the treatment is with them. The emotions in teaching were also found in this research impacting the relationship between teachers’ stress, and job satisfaction. Therefore, they should also be addressed and positive environment promoting the affective commitment should be practiced by all universities and institutions in order to avoid any harm to the value of academic institutions.
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