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Burnout and teacher–child interactions: The moderating influence of SEL interventions in Head Start classrooms

Research Findings: The present study explored the extent to which teachers’ participation in professional development focused on children’s social-emotional learning moderated the relation between self-reported burnout and teacher–child interactions. The sample included 307 Head Start preschool teachers who participated in a large randomized controlled trial, the Head Start CARES (Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion) Project. Teachers were assigned to one of the three SEL interventions (PATHS, Incredible Years, or Tools of the Mind–Play) or a control group. Results revealed a moderating effect of treatment condition. Specifically, in control classrooms, higher self-reported burnout was related to a decline in Instructional Support scores over the course of the year. In contrast, the negative association between burnout and teacher–child interactions was not present in the intervention condition. Follow-up analyses indicated that this moderating effect was only present for teachers who were trained in the PATHS and Incredible Years interventions. Practice or Policy: Findings suggest that training and participation in interventions focused on social-emotional learning may serve as a buffer against the detrimental influence of burnout on teachers’ classroom practices. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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