Teacher Psychopathology, Burnout, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Compassion Satisfaction During COVID-19: Resilience and Risk Factors

Dana Lassri*, Mona Khoury-Kassabri, Ruth Gottfried, Alex Desatnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Teaching staff have been especially vulnerable to experiencing psychopathology and compassion fatigue during COVID-19, given the significant demands they have experienced. Yet, research on risk and resilience factors is scant. We assessed the psychological status of Israeli teaching staff during COVID-19, focusing on psychopathology (depression, anxiety, somatization), compassion fatigue (burnout, secondary traumatic stress), and compassion satisfaction. We also examined the role of transdiagnostic risk and resilience factors—mentalizing, self-compassion, self-criticism, social support, and specialized trauma training—in predicting psychological status and mitigating the link between COVID-19-related distress and psychological status. An online questionnaire was completed by 350 teaching staff. Analyses included outlining the distributions of psychological status outcomes and running a series of moderation models using hierarchical robust regression. While 48% of the participants exhibited moderated-to-high levels of anxiety and 28.27% had no somatization, only 13% exhibited moderate-to-severe levels of depression; 60% had moderate levels of burnout, 48% had moderate levels of secondary traumatic stress, and 52% had low levels of compassion satisfaction. COVID-19-related distress, self-criticism, prementalizing modes, low socioeconomic status, and being in an intimate relationship emerged as key risk factors positively associated with psychological status, while self-compassion, general mentalizing, interest and curiosity about mental states, and social support were negatively linked with these outcomes. Teacher’s mentalizing about students’ mental states and social support moderated the link between COVID-19-related distress and psychological status. The findings highlight the importance of risk and resilience factors for assessing and preventing teaching staff’s psychopathology and compassion fatigue during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice

Keywords

  • compassion fatigue and satisfaction
  • COVID-19
  • psychopathology
  • risk and resilience
  • teachers

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