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The association between pupils´ aggressive behaviour and burnout among Danish school teachers - the role of stress and social support at work

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

Background: Pupils´ aggressive behaviour towards teachers is a serious problem which is slowly gaining attention and has been found to be linked to burnout. However, prospective studies investigating the role of stress and social support from colleagues and supervisor are lacking. Therefore, the aims of the present study were 1. to investigate the association between pupils´ aggressive behaviour and burnout among Danish primary and lower secondary school teachers, 2. to investigate whether the association between pupils´ aggressive behaviour and burnout depends on the level and duration of stress, and 3. to investigate whether social support from colleagues or a supervisor at the work place has a mitigating effect on the association between pupils´ aggressive behaviour and burnout among teachers. Methods: This study is a longitudinal study using data from 1198 teachers collected in two survey rounds at an interval of 1-year. Teacher-reported aggressive behaviour in pupils measured as harassment, threats, and violence towards teachers was collected at baseline. Burnout was measured at follow-up. The analyses were performed using multilevel logistic regression. Results: Statistically significant associations between harassment, threats, or violence and burnout 1 year later were found (all ORs 1.6) after adjustment for potential confounders. After further adjustment for stress, the estimates attenuated to ORs between 1.4 and 1.5, and were also statistically significant. Pupils´ aggressive behaviour in combination with low support from colleagues increased the risk of burnout, whereas the risk of burnout increased among those experiencing pupils´ aggressive behaviour in combination with receiving high support from the supervisor. Conclusions: The results indicate associations between all three types of pupils´ aggressive behaviour and burnout among teachers in Danish primary and lower secondary schools. Stress explained only a minor part of the association between teachers’ perceptions of pupils’ aggressive behaviour and burnout in teachers, and the results regarding social support were conflicting. The results of this study emphasize the growing need for preventive initiatives directed towards pupils´ aggressive behaviour, and future research should focus on exploring in depth how to support and prevent burnout in teachers exposed to aggressive behaviour.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer316
TidsskriftBMC Public Health
Vol/bind2022
Nummer22
Sider (fra-til)316-328
Antal sider13
ISSN1471-2458
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2022

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