Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

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

Version 1 : Received: 21 December 2021 / Approved: 22 December 2021 / Online: 22 December 2021 (12:28:23 CET)

How to cite: Keleynikov, M.; Benatov, J.; Berger, R. Preschool Teachers’ Psychological Distress and Work Engagement During COVID -19 Outbreak: The Protective Role of Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation. Preprints 2021, 2021120364 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0364.v1). Keleynikov, M.; Benatov, J.; Berger, R. Preschool Teachers’ Psychological Distress and Work Engagement During COVID -19 Outbreak: The Protective Role of Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation. Preprints 2021, 2021120364 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0364.v1).

Abstract

The COVID-19 has dramatically affected mental health and work environment of many labor sectors, including the educational sector. Our primary aim was to investigate preschool teachers’ psychological distress and work engagement during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, while examining the possible protective role of participating in mindfulness-based intervention (C2C-IT) and emotion regulation. Emotional distress, work engagement and COVID-19 concerns’ prevalence were evaluated among 165 preschool teachers in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel, using self-report questionnaires. Findings show that preschool teachers have experienced increased emotional distress. Teachers who had participated in the C2C-IT intervention six month 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 mindfulness training (N = 124). Emotion regulation strategies mediated the link between participating in the CTC-IT intervention and emotional distress and work engagement. Teaching is a highly demanding occupation, especially during a pandemic, therefore it is important to invest resources in empowering this population. According to the findings of the current study, implementation of mindfulness-based intervention during the school year, may benefit teachers’ well-being, even during stressful events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords

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

Subject

SOCIAL SCIENCES, Education Studies

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