Original Research

Stress, flourishing and intention to leave of teachers: Does coping type matter?

Vasti Marais-Opperman, Sebastiaan Rothmann, Chrizanne van Eeden
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 47 | a1834 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v47i0.1834 | © 2021 Vasti Marais-Opperman, Sebastiaan Rothmann, Chrizanne van Eeden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 August 2020 | Published: 21 April 2021

About the author(s)

Vasti Marais-Opperman, Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Sebastiaan Rothmann, Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Chrizanne van Eeden, Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Teachers face a demanding work environment which might cause stress. Depending on teachers’ coping profile, distress might indirectly affect teachers’ intentions to resign from their jobs via their flourishing.

Research purpose: This study aimed to investigate the associations between teachers’ perceived stress, flourishing at work, intention to leave their jobs and coping types.

Motivation for the study: The effect of stress on flourishing at work has not been studied in relation to teachers’ intentions to leave. Furthermore, no person-centred studies on coping of teachers in relation to their well-being and retention were found.

Research approach/design and method: A sample of teachers (n = 209) participated in a cross-sectional study. The Perceived Stress Scale, Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) Inventory, Flourishing-at-Work Scale – Short Form and Intention to Leave Scale were administered. Latent variable modelling was used to analyse the data.

Main findings: Flourishing at work was positively associated with perceived positive stress and low perceived distress. Perceived distress impacted teachers’ intentions to leave directly and indirectly (via low flourishing). Perceived positive stress indirectly and negatively impacted teachers’ intentions to leave via flourishing. Person-centred analyses identified three types of copers that were associated with perceived positive stress and distress.

Practical/managerial implications: It is essential to focus on teachers’ stress, coping type and flourishing to promote their retention.

Contribution/value-add: This study provided insights regarding the associations between teachers’ perceived stress, flourishing at work and intention to leave their jobs. Moreover, it showed that coping types are associated with the perceived stress of teachers.


Keywords

well-being; mental health; coping; stress; intention to leave; teachers

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