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The relationship between global distress, mentalizing and well-being in a German teacher sample

Schwarzer, N-H; Nolte, T; Fonagy, P; Griem, J; Kieschke, U; Gingelmaier, S; (2022) The relationship between global distress, mentalizing and well-being in a German teacher sample. Current Psychology 10.1007/s12144-021-01467-3. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Many studies have linked global distress including higher psychological symptom severity and high levels of stress with low levels of well-being among teachers, indicating a need to identify and empirically evaluate protective factors. Mentalizing—the capacity to understand behavior in terms of intentional mental states—may be a candidate protective factor to mediate this association, enhancing well-being in the face of high levels of global distress. The present study examines whether the capacity to mentalize can buffer subjectively experienced stress and psychological symptom severity in a sample of teachers. 215 teachers completed questionnaires measuring self-rated experiences of stress, psychological symptoms, mentalizing capacities and well-being in a cross-sectional design. Structural equation modeling was used to test mediation effects. Our findings show that mentalizing was positively associated with well-being. In addition, mentalizing counteracted the negative influence of stress and psychological symptom severity. However, a structural equation model assessing the mediating effect of global distress on well-being via mentalizing was not significant. Therefore, the data indicate that teachers’ capacity to mentalize, regardless of psychological symptom load and subjective experience of stress, has a positive impact on their well-being. The study highlights the protective function of mentalizing and forms a framework for psychological interventions to increase teachers’ well-being.

Type: Article
Title: The relationship between global distress, mentalizing and well-being in a German teacher sample
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12144-021-01467-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01467-3
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120787
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