Positive expressive writing as a tool for alleviating burnout and enhancing wellbeing in teachers and other full-time workers

Emily Round, Mark Wetherell, Vicki Elsey, Michael Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Teachers are an occupational group particularly prone to suffering from burnout, a condition caused by chronic stress from work overload. Burnout is a risk factor for adverse psychological and physical health, thus it is important to test the efficacy of tools and techniques for alleviating burnout and enhancing job satisfaction. One potentially suitable technique is positive expressive writing. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a positive writing intervention on burnout, job satisfaction, anxiety, perceived stress and self-reported physical symptoms and compared these effects in teachers and other full-time workers.A group of teachers (n = 35) and a group of non-teachers (n = 31) who worked full-time in other professions were randomly allocated to complete either three consecutive days of positive expressive writing, or writing about a more neutral topic, online, 20 minutes per day, for three consecutive days State anxiety declined to a greater extent for participants in the positive writing condition compared to the neutral writing condition. Positive writing also conferred benefits on some aspects of job satisfaction, but not burnout. There were no specific benefits for teachers compared to non-teachers. The present study is the first to observe that positive expressive writing may be a useful technique for enhancing job satisfaction in full-time workers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2060628
Number of pages13
JournalCogent Psychology
Volume9
Issue number1
Early online date6 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2022

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