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Teachers' wellbeing and depressive symptoms, and associated risk factors: A large cross sectional study in English secondary schools.

Kidger, J; Brockman, R; Tilling, K; Campbell, R; Ford, T; Araya, R; King, M; (2016) Teachers' wellbeing and depressive symptoms, and associated risk factors: A large cross sectional study in English secondary schools. Journal of Affective Disorders , 192 pp. 76-82. 10.1016/j.jad.2015.11.054. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Teachers have been shown to have high levels of stress and common mental disorder, but few studies have examined which factors within the school environment are associated with poor teacher mental health. METHODS: Teachers (n=555) in 8 schools completed self-report questionnaires. Levels of teacher wellbeing (Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale-WEMWBS) and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-PHQ-9) were measured and associations between these measures and school-related factors were examined using multilevel multivariable regression models. RESULTS: The mean (SD) teacher wellbeing score (47.2 (8.8)) was lower than reported in working population samples, and 19.4% had evidence of moderate to severe depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores >10). Feeling unable to talk to a colleague when feeling stressed or down, dissatisfaction with work and high presenteeism were all strongly associated with both poor wellbeing (beta coefficients ranged from -4.65 [-6.04, -3.28] to -3.39 [-5.48, -1.31]) and depressive symptoms (ORs ranged from 2.44 [1.41, 4.19] to 3.31 [1.70, 6.45]). Stress at work and recent change in school governance were also associated with poor wellbeing (beta coefficients=-4.22 [-5.95, -2.48] and -2.17 [-3.58, -0.77] respectively), while sickness absence and low student attendance were associated with depressive symptoms (ORs=2.14 [1.24, 3.67] and 1.93 [1.06, 6.45] respectively). LIMITATIONS: i) This was a cross-sectional study; causal associations cannot be identified ii) several of the measures were self-report iii) the small number of schools reduced study power for the school-level variables CONCLUSIONS: Wellbeing is low and depressive symptoms high amongst teachers. Interventions aimed at improving their mental health might focus on reducing work related stress, and increasing the support available to them.

Type: Article
Title: Teachers' wellbeing and depressive symptoms, and associated risk factors: A large cross sectional study in English secondary schools.
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.11.054
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.11.054
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Keywords: Depression, Mental health, School, Teachers, Wellbeing
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 > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477215
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