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Title: Relationship between mentalizing and teacher burnout: A cross sectional study
Authors: Safiye, Teodora
Vukcevic B.
Milidrag, Ardea
Dubljanin, Jakša
Cikotić A.
Dubljanin D.
Lackovic M.
Rodić I.
Nikolic M.
Colakovic G.
Mladenovic, Tatjana
Gutić, Medo
Issue Date: 2023
Abstract: Background Teaching is considered a high-risk profession due to the high impact of occupational risk factors which can endanger educators' mental health and lead to burnout syndrome. This study aimed to examine whether the capacity for mentalizing in teachers explains the degree of their burnout syndrome. The expectation was that a low capacity for mentalizing increases the degree of burnout. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 823 teachers. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey was used to examine the burnout syndrome. The capacity for mentalizing was examined using hypomentalizing and hypermentalizing scales from the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire. Results The expectation that a low capacity for mentalizing increases teachers' burnout confirms the finding that hypomentalizing is a positive predictor of their emotional exhaustion as a dimension of burnout (ß = 0.09; p < 0.01). Unexpectedly, hypomentalizing proved to be a positive predictor of personal accomplishment (ß = 0.09; p < 0.05), which indicates that with a lower capacity for mentalizing, teachers experience greater personal accomplishment. Also, hypermantalizing was a negative predictor of emotional exhaustion (ß = -0.17; p < 0.01) and depersonalization (ß = -0.31; p < 0.01), and a positive predictor of personal accomplishment (ß = 0.30; p < 0.01). The findings showed that with higher socioeconomic status, with marriage and having children, the burnout of teachers is lower, as expected. Conclusions Capacity for mentalizing and burnout syndrome in teachers are interrelated phenomena. With a good capacity for mentalizing, emotional exhaustion and burnout in teachers are reduced. Knowledge and skills that enable a good capacity for mentalizing should be included in educational and teacher training programs.
Type: article
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279535
SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-85146161121
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kragujevac

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