PSYCHOLOGICAL CAPITAL AS A DETERMINANT OF STRESS MANAGEMENT OF INCLUSIVE TEACHERS
Keywords:psychological capital, stress management techniques, inclusive education, optimism, resilience
Psychological capital refers to the personal resources to cope with different work and life situations and consists of four components: self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resilience (Luthans, Youssef, Avolio, 2007; Luthans, Youssef-Morgan, Avolio, 2015). The development of psychological capital is important for job performance stress management and wellbeing of teachers working with special needs children in their classes. This paper is aimed to establish the relationships between psychological capital and stress management symptoms of teachers in inclusive education. 205 inclusive teachers working in preschool and school education took part in this research. The stress management symptoms are measured with Lattack’s questionnaire (1986, Cronbach’s alpha of internal consistency for the researched sample is high - 0,81) and are related to stress management techniques like relaxation techniques and sport activities, emotional reaction, self-therapy approach, use of medicine, alcohol use and smoking, hobbies and leisure activities.
The results show positive correlations between psychological capital and stress techniques used by teachers to manage their job stress. There are no correlations between psychological capital and ineffective and harmful for teachers’ health practices to reduce job stress like use of alcohol and smoking and use of medicine.
Regression analysis confirms that the positive and effective stress management techniques are influenced by psychological capital dimensions. Optimism predicts using of relaxation and sport activities as an approach to reduce job stress. Teachers with high self-efficacy cope successfully with stress and apply self-management approach. Seeking of professional support and religion practices are determined by optimism. The results emphasize the impact of self-efficacy, resilience and optimism on stress management. There is no impact of psychological capital on hobbies and leisure activities, emotional reactions, alcohol use and smoking and medicine use. Optimism of teachers in inclusive education is crucial for their stress management and is a main prerequisite for success of their work with children with special educational needs. Successful stress management of teachers working with children with special needs is possible to be implemented when the characteristics of psychological capital are improved. The implication of the results in stress management practices used by inclusive teachers is discussed.
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