Preschool Teachers’ Psychological Distress and Work Engagement during COVID-19 Outbreak: The Protective Role of Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation

Mor Keleynikov, Joy Benatov, Rony Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

COVID-19 has dramatically affected the mental health and work environment of the educational sector. Our primary aim was to investigate preschool teachers’ psychological distress and work engagement during the COVID-19 outbreak, while examining the possible protective role of participating in a mindfulness-based intervention geared to foster compassion (Call2Care-Israel for Teachers; C2C-IT) and emotion regulation. The prevalence of emotional distress, work engagement, and COVID-19 concerns were evaluated in 165 preschool teachers in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel through questionnaires. The findings showed that preschool teachers experienced increased emotional distress. Teachers who had participated in the C2C-IT intervention six months before the pandemic outbreak (N = 41) reported lower emotional distress, higher use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies, and higher work engagement, compared to their counterparts that had not participated in the intervention (N = 124). Emotion regulation strategies mediated the link between participating in CTC-IT intervention and emotional distress and work engagement. Teaching is a highly demanding occupation, especially during a pandemic, thus making it important to invest resources in empowering this population. The findings here suggest that the implementation of a mindfulness-based intervention during the school year can enhance teachers’ well-being, even during stressful events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2645
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional distress
  • Mindfulness
  • Teachers
  • Work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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