Objectives: This preliminary study investigated the impact of teachers’ general attitudes about EBPs (i.e., Openness) on aspects of teacher burnout (i.e., Emotional Exhaustion [EE], Depersonalization [DP], and Personal Accomplishment [PA]) across 3 widely utilized comprehensive preschool treatment programs used for children with ASD (TEACCH, LEAP & Business As Usual/Eclectic).
Methods: This study was conducted as part of a larger multi-site (CO, NC, MN, FL) preschool treatment comparison project. 49 teachers across 3 classroom types (16 TEACCH, 15 LEAP, and 18 Business as Usual/Eclectic) were asked to complete a demographic form, Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS) and Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES).
Results: Regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the impact of teachers’ acceptance of EBPs on their feelings of burnout, controlling for their number of years teaching. Teachers in the TEACCH/LEAP group who expressed an openness to using EBPs were less emotionally exhausted, F(2, 28) = 6.077, p=.006, β= -.527, and had more feelings of personal accomplishment, F(2,28) = 8.387, p=.001, β= -.493. However, teachers openness to adopting EBPs did not significantly predict their levels of depersonalization, F(2, 28) = 2.168, p= .133, β= -.355. In addition, no significant associations were found between these measures in the Business as Usual group.
Conclusions: Preliminary analyses indicate teachers who were open to the use of EBPs in their classrooms had strong feelings of Personal Accomplishment and decreased feelings of Emotional Exhaustion. This was only the case for teachers who were following a theory-driven intervention framework (i.e, TEACCH, LEAP) as opposed to those teachers who were not following a manualized method of teaching.
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