Psychological Disorder, Job satisfaction and Teaching Effectiveness among Iranian English and NonEnglish Teachers

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Urmia University

Abstract

 
The task of shouldering the burden of fulfilling the expectations of students, parents, and principals and in a broader sense, the educational system, exposes teachers to highly stressful situations which are likely to bring about a host of mental disorders. The current study was intended to investigate the relationship between Iranian English and non-English teachers' mental disorder (i.e., distress, anxiety, somatization, & depression), their job satisfaction and effectiveness. To this end, 173 English and nonEnglish teachers working in English language centers and public high schools were conveniently selected. Umme Kulsum's Teacher Effectiveness Scale, Lester's Teacher Job Satisfaction and Terluin's Four Dimensional Symptom questionnaires were used to collect data. The findings revealed an inverse and significant correlation between Iranian English teachers' psychological disorder and their job satisfaction. However, for nonEnglish teachers, only depression subscale of mental disorder was found to be negatively correlated with their job satisfaction. Significant correlations were also found between both English and nonEnglish teachers' psychological disorder and their effectiveness. The results suggest important implications for policymakers and stakeholders in education to reduce the level of stress and job dissatisfaction among teachers through developing mentoring programs

Keywords


1. Background

Educational system is one of the important societal systems which delivers teachers, who are known as the backbone of a society. Teachers, in turn, play a significant role in improving the pedagogical system and, through the acquired knowledge and skills, can engender an atmosphere of affection, growth, and respect in schools and classroom settings. Considering the pivotal role of teachers in the educational system, investing in them in order to train and retain skillful, satisfied, as well as physically and mentally healthy teachers seems to be a worthwhile attempt. Students in any learning situation are affected by the emotional atmosphere. A felicitous education might not be achieved without a satisfied and motivated teaching staff. Thus, teachers' satisfaction is of utmost importance for achieving optimal results.

1.1 Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction represents an employee's perception towards his/her job, and it is a cooperation of psychological and emotional experiences at work. Owing to the fact that work is a pivotal part of one's life, no task can be accomplished in an efficacious way unless an employee is satisfied with his/her job. In education, teachers' job satisfaction plays an integral role in contributing to their retention and commitment and school effectiveness (Shann, 1998). There is no consensus on the definition of job satisfaction and what constitutes this construct; however, a popular and most cited definition of job satisfaction comes in the words of Locke (1976) who defines this construct as a positive emotional frame of mind which is the consequence of a person's job appraisal. Miller (2009) regards this definition as the most referenced description of job satisfaction which is widely accepted and further states that Locke's definition is a depiction of the broad concept of job satisfaction. 'Agents' and 'events' are two sets of factors influencing job satisfaction. 'Agents' are defined as factors giving rise to an event to take place, such as colleagues, supervisors, and managers, whereas 'events' are experiences and incidents generating a feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction in employees. Failure, success, demotion, promotion, and working conditions are some examples of events (Locke, 1976). Based on Herzberg's (1959) 'dual-factor theory', different factors in the workplace affect two independent and separate constructs of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Two disparate factors influencing job satisfaction and dissatisfaction include: 1) intrinsic factors (motivators), such as achievement, which are assumed to have positive effects on satisfaction, and 2) extrinsic factors (hygiene factors), such as working conditions, which cause dissatisfaction if they are absent. However, it should be noted that their presence does not necessarily bring about satisfaction. The sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are classified by Dinham and Scott (1998) into three areas of intrinsic rewards of teaching, factors extrinsic to school, and school-based factors. Teachers who are not satisfied with their job are likely to suffer from stress and illness, and teacher absenteeism may occur as a result of job dissatisfaction. Therefore, one of the variables which may be associated with teachers' job satisfaction is illness and psychological disorders.

1.2 Psychological Disorder

Many studies have identified teaching as a stressful profession (e.g., Beer & Beer 1992; Kyriacou & Sutcliffe, 1987; Milstein & Golaszewski, 1985; Travers & Cooper, 1993). Tackling the problem of dealing with difficult students, excessive workload, high-stakes tests, lack of administrative support, and poor working conditions (BarksdaLeladd & Thomas, 2000; Berryhill, Linney, & Fromewick, 2009; Travers & Cooper, 1993) are among the myriad of teachers' stress sources that make them vulnerable to a host of mental health problems. Struggling with the prolonged stress and shouldering different tasks and decisions at work could be challenging for teachers, and these factors can give rise to teachers' dissatisfaction and eventually teacher attrition, which leaves heavy costs on the government to compensate for this loss. A negative association has been found between teachers' stress at work and their job satisfaction in a number of studies (e.g., Jepson & Forest, 2006; Kyriacou & Sutcliffe, 1979). As VandenBos (2007) states, mental disorder represents any condition of abnormal behavior, debilitated functioning, and emotional or mental disturbance or any combination of these. For him, such disorders can be attributed not only to the environmental circumstances, but also to physiological, chemical, social, genetic and other factors. In the present study, four components of psychological disorder, namely, depression, anxiety, somatization, and distress, among English and nonEnglish teachers were investigated in order to find out their possible association with teachers' job satisfaction and teaching effectiveness.

Stress which is experienced by most people is a way of responding or reaction to demanding or threatening events, which is considered helpful in healthy doses. However, beyond a certain point, it becomes "pathological when the individual can no longer function in everyday life nor can he/she achieve goals, since his/her emotional balance is disturbed. As such, it could be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder" (Papastylianou, Kaila, & Polychronopoulos, 2009, p. 296). Vandenbos (2007) defines distress as a type of bad stress which is the repercussion of excessive stress, sever and damaging demands and losses, which puts the individual in danger of deleterious effects and health risks. Teachers diagnosed with distress are likely to display physical or physiological symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, body rashes, and cardiovascular diseases; behavioral symptoms, such as irritability, withdrawal from social interactions, and worsening interpersonal relationships and work performance; and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, panic, and phobias (Chaplain, 2008). Andrews (1991) notes that patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder are not simply too anxious, they suffer from unreasonable and continual fears. As Vandenbos (2007) states, anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders the central hallmark of which is identified as excessive worry and fear. Panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and different phobias (e.g., social phobia, specific phobia) are among different types of anxiety disorders. Depression is considered as a common mental health disorder which manifests itself in depressed people as feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness. Individuals diagnosed with depression may experience a loss of appetite and pleasure. They may also complain of disturbed sleep and poor concentration. (Garvik, Idsoe, & Bru, 2014).

 Somatization which is a universal phenomenon has been identified as the repercussion of common psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety resulting in automatic arousal symptoms or somatic complaints (Sharama & Manjula, 2013). Lipowski (1988) first adopted an expressive definition of somatization. He defined somatization as "the tendency to experience and communicate somatic distress and symptoms unaccounted for by pathological findings, to attribute them to physical illness, and to seek medical help for them" (p. 1358). He also maintained that this tendency (to somatize) is assumed to demonstrate itself in response to psychosocial distress caused by life events and situations which are stressful to the individual. For him, somatizing people do not associate their symptoms to psychological mode and tend to regard the symptoms as typical of physical illness, and, on this account, they seek medical attention. A somatizing patient may manifest manifold symptoms. Pain by far has been identified as the most common of such symptoms, especially the one involving the back, abdomen, chest, head, pelvis, and muscles. Complaints of fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and palpitations are also common (Stewart & Raskin, 1985).

1.3 Teacher Effectiveness

Beishuizen, Hof, Van Putten, Boumeester, and Asscher (2001) identify good teachers’ characteristics based on the two perspectives of teachers' personality and their ability. Based on the personality perspective, good teachers are recognized as "kind, serious, enthusiastic, and possibly attractive” (Beishuizen, et al. 2001, p. 186), while, ability perspective regards a good teacher as a knowledgeable, skillful, and experienced teacher who "explains well, knows a lot of examples, gives clear outlines, well able to improvise, adapts explanation flexibly to the needs of the students, understands quickly what the
problems in the class are like" (p. 187).

Porter and Brophy (1988) found effective teachers to be knowledgeable in content and teaching strategies, pay attention to their students and their needs, have clear teaching goals, and offer feedback to their students. They were also found to combine other subject areas with their own instruction. Effective teachers are responsible for students' learning and their outcome and are thoughtful about teaching. The significant role of psychological well-being in job performance of human services workers has been highlighted in a number of studies (e.g., Wright & Cropanzano, 2000). This predictive power of mental health in effectiveness and performance in teaching profession is no exception. A teacher suffering from personal mental health problems can trigger a devastating learning context in which all students can be detrimentally affected. Teachers are more prone to stress, psychological distress and burnout resulting from their job conditions than many other occupations (Kyriacou, 2001). Teaching being a social profession in which teachers have face-to- face interactions with their students, parents and principals might be a reason. In an ideal situation, teachers should enjoy performing their duties. They play a significant role in the development of education and overall progress of a nation. Due to the significant role teachers' mental health might play in their job satisfaction and performance or their effectiveness and due to a scant attention paid to the relationship between both English and nonEnglish teachers' job satisfaction, psycho-physical health and their effectiveness at the same time in general and in the context of Iran in particular, investigating the association between these three constructs is warranted.

1.4 Operational Definition of the Study's Constructs

  •  Teachers' job satisfaction: Teachers' emotional and affective responses to their teaching profession. (Skaalvik and Skaalvik, 2011). In this study it was measured using Lesters' Teacher Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. The teachers answered 66 items which measured nine facets of teachers' job satisfaction, namely, supervision, colleagues, working conditions, payment, responsibility, work itself, advancement, security, and recognition.
  •  Teacher effectiveness: Effective teachers are knowledgeable in subject matter, they are successful in socializing with their students and promote their personal, affective and educational development (Porter and Brophy, 1988). The effectiveness of the present study' teachers was measured using self-report questionnaire of Umme Kulsum's Teacher Effectiveness Scale. The teachers rated themselves from 1 to 10 on this scale answering 60 items.
  •  Psychological disorders: psychological dysfunction and abnormal behavior attributed to environmental circumstances, genetic, chemical and social factors. (Vandenbos, 2007). In this study the symptoms of four psychological disorders of distress, anxiety, depression, and somatization were measured using 50-item self-report questionnaire of Four Dimensional Symptom Questionnaire.

2. Literature Review

The importance of the interplay among job satisfaction and teachers' physical and mental well-being has been highlighted in a wealth of studies (e.g., Brouwers & Tomic, 2000; Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton, 2001; Klassen, Usher, & Bong, 2010; Soodman Afshar & Doosti, 2016), and the subsequent effect of teachers' satisfaction and mental health on their performance has been identified in a number of academic investigations (e.g., Fisher, 2003; Soodmand Afshar & Doosti, 2016). A number of studies brought the close link between mental health and job satisfaction to light (e.g. De Simone, Cicotto, & Lampis, 2016; Faragher, Cass, & Cooper, 2005; Shigemi, Mino, Tsuda, Babazona, & Aoyama, 1997).

The influence of job stress and satisfaction on teachers' psychological and physical health and performance is of paramount importance and has been the subject of scrutiny by many authors.  De Simone, Cicotto, and Lampis (2016), for example, explored the relationship between job satisfaction, job stress, and physical health among Italian teachers through the distribution of a 32-item questionnaire among 565 female teachers of different upper secondary schools. They found that perceived occupational difficulties of Italian teachers were workload, perception of work environment, teachers' perception of senior management, and attitude toward change. The results also revealed a negative correlation between job satisfaction and physical symptoms. Job satisfaction was found to moderate the relationship between occupational stress and physical symptoms as well.

In an attempt to uncover the extent and degrees of well-being and the prevalence of depression, investigating individual and school-level factors related to teachers' poor well-being and depression, Kidger, Brockman, Tilling, Campel, Ford, Arya, King, and Gunnel (2016) carried out a cross-sectional study in 8 schools in the South West of England. Teachers (n = 555) were given self-reported questionnaires measuring depressive symptoms, well-being, work stress, and satisfaction. The study showed that teachers who were dissatisfied with their job and were unable to talk to their colleagues when feeling down experienced poor well-being and showed depressive symptoms. In another study, predictors of teachers' job satisfaction and their depression and anxiety were explored by Ferguson, Frost, and Hall (2012). Stress and depression were reported as negative predictors of job satisfaction, while teachers' satisfaction with their job was not predicted by anxiety, gender, position, and grade level.

Ahadi (2009) looked into the interplay between nine mental disorders (namely somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism) and five components of job satisfaction, namely satisfaction with payment, work, coworkers, promotion, and supervision among 663 teachers and 163 principals of Iran's high schools. The results showed a negative correlation between job satisfaction and its five components and nine mental disorders.  To scrutinize the association between job satisfaction, job stress, and the prevalence of stress-related illness, Peltzer, Shisana, Zuma, Van Wyk, and Zungu-Dirwayi (2009) conducted a cross-sectional survey among 21,307 teachers from public schools in South Africa. The results indicated high stress levels and low job satisfaction among South African teachers. Furthermore, the results showed that there was a link between job stress, job dissatisfaction, and work-stress illnesses. In another study on the sources of teachers' stress by Chaplain (2008), behavior management, workload, and lack of support were identified as the nature of stress among the trainee secondary school teachers in England. All of these three factors were found to be positively correlated with psychological distress with pupil behavior management making a salient contribution to trainee teachers' psychological distress. In another study on teachers' stress, Travers and Cooper (1993) found that teachers in the UK displayed a high degree of job dissatisfaction and mental healthproblems. In their study, the major factors correlating with teachers' job dissatisfaction were found to be the managing style, the climate and structure of the schools, and lack of promotion. It was also found that teachers, compared to other occupations, suffered from many aspects of psychological disorders to a greater extent. The link between job satisfaction and teachers' performance has drawn many researchers' attention, and a number of studies have centered their focus on how these variables might be interrelated. In this regard, Soodmand Afshar and Doosti (2016) investigated the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied teachers' performances. Analysis of The Successful Iranian English Teacher Questionnaire given to 64 teachers and their 1774 students in junior secondary schools confirmed a significant difference between satisfied and dissatisfied teachers in terms of their performance. They suggested that there might be a causal relationship between teachers' job satisfaction and their performance.

In an investigation carried out in Kenya, Ogochi (2014) aimed to examine the level of job satisfaction among secondary school teachers and to determine how it predicts their effectiveness. The level of job satisfaction among 130 teachers was found to be very low. As regards teachers' effectiveness, they were reported to be generally effective. Therefore, the results indicated that there was not any relationship between job satisfaction of teachers and their effectiveness.  As evidenced in the literature, although a plethora of studies have embarked on teachers' job satisfaction and their stress, the association between teachers' job satisfaction, their psychological disorders, including anxiety, distress, depression, and somatization, and their effectiveness, among nonEnglish teachers, in particular, has not been well researched. Therefore, this study was an attempt to compensate for such scarcity on the aforementioned issue; accordingly, the following questions were addressed:

1. Is there any relationship between English and nonEnglish teachers' job satisfaction and psychological disorder components of distress, depression, anxiety, and somatization?

2. Is there any relationship between English and nonEnglish teachers' psychological disorder symptoms (distress, depression, anxiety, and somatization) and their effectiveness?

3. Method

3.1 Participants

A total of 173 teachers, 104 English teachers from private language centers (N=53) and public high schools (N = 51) aging between 22 to 51, and 69 nonEnglish teachers from public high schools aging between 24 to 53 in varying contexts of Iran (Urmia, Andimeshk, Khoy, & Tehran)  were conveniently selected to participate in the present quantitative research. The sample comprised both female and male teachers:  48 female and 56 male English teachers and 31 female and 38 male nonEnglish teachers  English teachers' length of service ranged from 1 to 29 years and non-English teachers' teaching experience ranged from 1 to 30 years. NonEnglish teachers taught varying subject matters (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, Islamic education, history, & physics). Table 1 demonstrates the number of teachers selected from each city and school/private language centers and Table 2 presents the socio demographic information of the participants.

 

 

 

 

Table 1

 Number of English and NonEnglish Teachers Selected from Each City (N= 200)

Private language center

Public high school

City

10

25

Khoy (N= 35)

15

40

Andimeshk (N= 55)

15

53

Urmia (N= 68)

21

21

Tehran (N= 42)

Table 2

Sociodemographic Information of the Participants (N = 173)

Gender

 Major              

   workplace

   Tenure status

Female (N = 79,   45.66%)

 

Male (N = 94,   54.34%)

English (N =   104, 60.12%)

 

NonEnglish (N =   69, 39.88%)

English   institute

(N=   53, 30.64%)

 

Public   high school (N= 120, 69.36%)

Tenured (N =   120, 69.36%)

 

Contractual   (N = 53, 30.64%)

 

3.2 Instruments

Teacher Effectiveness Scale, a 60-item questionnaire developed and standardized by Kulsum (2000), was used to measure the teachers' effectiveness. The first section of this self-reported scale which was omitted as principals and supervisors of the study were unwilling to fill out this part because they found this part of questionnaire ambiguous and it did not match the context of the present study. Teachers rated themselves from 1 to 10 on this scale, with 1 indicating lowest and 10 indicating highest effectiveness.

To measure the participants' job satisfaction, Lester's (1987) Teacher Job Satisfaction Questionnaire, a 66-item self-reported scale with a likert-type response format ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree, was filled out by the teachers. The last questionnaire used in this study was Terluin's (2012) Four-Dimensional Symptom Questionnaire, a 50-item scale measuring four dimensions of psychological disorder (anxiety, depression, distress, and somatization). The items asked questions about complaints and symptoms teachers might have had during the past seven days. In this questionnaire, teachers choose answers based on the frequency of the occurrence of the symptoms among five choices ranging from "no" to "very often or constantly". All three questionnaires were translated into Persian due to nonEnglish teachers' limited English language proficiency and were piloted among 30 teachers before using them in the main study. The reliability coefficient for all the questionnaires was calculated. Employing a Cronbach's alpha, the reliability coefficient for Teacher Effectiveness, Lester's Teacher Job Satisfaction, and Four-Dimensional Symptom Questionnaires were found to be 0.76, 0.84, and 0.85, respectively. Moreover, the contents of all three questionnaires were validated by three TEFL specialists.

3.3 Procedure

The research employed convenience sampling, and, after ensuring the participants' anonymity and asking for their permission, all three translated questionnaires were administered to English teachers working in English language centers and nonEnglish high school teachers of Urmia, Khoy, Andimeshk, and Tehran, Iran. 200 questionnaires were distributed among the participants (60 were filled out online and 140 were delivered in person). Considering the number and length of the questionnaires, all the participants were given three days to answer the items attentively and it took most of the participants about 25 minutes to answer the items of the all three questionnaires. A number of questionnaires were excluded from the analysis as they were not answered completely or with enough attention. Ultimately, 173 teachers provided the complete set of data for analysis. The statistical analyses of the data were done through employing Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 16). To find answers to the research questions a series of Spearman correlations were run. Choosing Spearman correlation over Pearson correlation was due to the violation of the normality assumption for the scores from all subscales of mental disorder (sig < 0.05).

4. Results

English teachers' distress, anxiety, depression, somatization and job satisfaction

One of the aims of this study was to find the relationship between English teachers' job satisfaction and psychological disorder components of distress, depression, anxiety, and somatization. The descriptive statistics are presented in Table 3 and correlational analyses between these variables are presented in Table 4.

Table 3

Descriptive Statistics for English Teachers' Job Satisfaction, Somatization, Anxiety, Depression, and Distress

Variable

Mean

SD

Job   satisfaction

228.04

38.9

Somatization

6.76

0.71

Distress

9.10

0.81

Anxiety

4.37

0.48

Depression                              

2.21

0.27

 

 

 

Table 4

                        Correlation Results for English Teachers' Somatization, Distress, Anxiety, Depression and Job Satisfaction

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

As indicated in Table 4, an inverse and significant correlation was found between all the four subscales of psychological disorders and job satisfaction (sig < 0.05), with somatization being r = -0.43, sig < 0.05, r2 = 0.18, distress r = -0.54, sig <0.05, r2 = 0.29, anxiety r =-0.40, sig < 0.05, r2 = 0.16, and depression r = -0.41, sig < 0.05, r2 = 0.16.

NonEnglish teachers' distress, anxiety, depression, somatization and job satisfaction

This study also aimed at finding the relationship between nonEnglish teachers' job satisfaction and psychological disorder components of distress, depression, anxiety, and somatization, the descriptive statistics of which and the correlational results are presented in Table 5 and Table 6, respectively.

Table 5

Descriptive Statistics for NonEnglish Teachers' Job Satisfaction, Somatization, Anxiety, Depression, and Distress

Variable

Mean

SD

Job satisfaction

229.87

29.64

Somatization

6.72

0.62

Distress

8.15

0.80

Anxiety

4.86

0.51

Depression

2.11

0.30

Table 6

Correlation Results for NonEnglish Teachers' Somatization, Distress, Anxiety, Depression, and Job Satisfaction

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

As indicated in Table 6, only the depression subscale of psychological disorder is negatively significantly correlated with job satisfaction (sig < 0.05) (r = -0.42, sig < 0.05, r2 = 0.17). Therefore, it can be concluded that there is a negative significant relationship between depression and job satisfaction among non-English teachers.

English teachers' somatization, distress, anxiety, depression, and effectiveness

The descriptive statistic results of the relationship between English teachers' four subscales of psychological disorders and their effectiveness is illustrated in Table 7 and the spearman correlation results is provided in Table 8.

Table 7

Descriptive Statistics for Psychological Disorders and Effectiveness among English Teachers

Variable

Mean

SD

Effectiveness

401.13

108.29

Somatization

6.76

0.71

Distress

9.10

0.81

Anxiety

4.37

0.48

Depression

2.21

0.27

Table 8

Correlation Results for English Teachers' Somatization, Distress, Anxiety, Depression and Effectiveness

                                                                                                                       
  

 

  
  

 

  
  

 

  
  

Effectiveness

  
  

Spearman's    rho

  
  

Somatization

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.616**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

104

  
  

Distress

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.725**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

104

  
  

Anxiety

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.650**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

104

  
  

Depression

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.671**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

104

  
  

Effectiveness

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

     1.000

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

0.000

  
  

N

  
  

104

  

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

As Table 8 reveals, all subscales of psychological disorders are negatively significantly correlated with effectiveness (sig < 0.05), with somatization being r = -0.61, sig < 0.001, distress r = -0.72, sig < 0.001, anxiety r = -0.65, sig < 0.001, and depression r = -0.67, sig. < 0.001.

NonEnglish teachers' somatization, distress, anxiety, depression and effectiveness

Table 9 presents the descriptive statistics and Table 10 shows the results for the relationship between nonEnglish teachers' four components of psychological disorders and their effectiveness.

Table 9

Descriptive Statistics for Psychological Disorders and Effectiveness among NonEnglish Teachers

Variable

Mean

SD

Effectiveness

423.80

117.57

Somatization

6.72

0.62

Distress

8.15

0.80

Anxiety

4.86

0.51

Depression

2.11

0.30

Table 10

Correlation Results for NonEnglish Teachers' Somatization, Distress, Anxiety, Depression, and Effectiveness

                                                                                                                       
  

 

  
  

 

  
  

 

  
  

Effectiveness

  
  

Spearman's    rho

  
  

Somatization

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.566**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

69

  
  

Distress

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.752**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

69

  
  

Anxiety

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.568**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

69

  
  

Depression

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

-.642**

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.000

  
  

N

  
  

69

  
  

Effectiveness

  
  

Correlation    Coefficient

  
  

1.000

  
  

Sig.    (2-tailed)

  
  

.

  
  

N

  
  

69

  

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

According to Table 10, there was a negative, significant relationship (sig < 0.05) between non-English teachers' somatization (r = -0.56, sig < 0.001, r2 = 0.31), distress (r = -0.75, sig < 0.001, r2 = 0.56), anxiety (r = -0.56, sig < 0.001, r2 = 0.31), depression (r = -0.64, sig < 0.001, r2 = 0.40) and effectiveness.

As for the first research question, the results revealed a negative and significant correlation between four psychological disorder components of distress, anxiety, depression, and somatization and job satisfaction among English teachers, but for non-English teachers only somatization was found to be negatively and significantly correlated with job satisfaction.

As regards the second research question, this study found that there was a negative and significant correlation between distress, anxiety, somatization, and depression and teaching effectiveness among both English and non-English teachers.

5. Discussion and Conclusion

Many researchers have studied teachers' job satisfaction (e.g., Bolin, 2007; Klassen, Usher, & Bong, 2010; Menon & Athanasoula-Reppa, 2011), its relationship with teachers' stress (e.g., Borg, Riding, & Fazlon, 1991; Chaplain, 1995; Travers & Cooper, 1993), and teachers' performance (e.g. Ostroff, 1992; Soodmand Afshar & Doosti, 2016). However, the relationship between job satisfaction and some psychological disorder components, such as anxiety, distress, depression, somatization, as well as teachers' effectiveness, particularly in the context of Iran, has received scant attention. This gap in the literature made the incentive for the researchers of the study to investigate the relationship between the aforementioned constructs.

As with other studies (e.g. Ferguson, Frost, & Hall, 2012), a negative relationship was found between English teachers' four subscales of psychological disorder (i.e., depression, distress, anxiety, & somatization) and their job satisfaction. However, for the nonEnglish teachers, except for the depression subscale which negatively correlated with job satisfaction, the results revealed no relationship between their anxiety, distress, somatization and job satisfaction. This can be attributed to nonEnglish teachers' having more job security as a result of being a tenured teacher with a stable job, which consequently might decrease the adverse effects of mental health problems on their satisfaction with their occupation. Notwithstanding this, As McIntyre, Liauw, and Taylor (2011) point out, those who suffer depression may have difficulty facing challenges and demands of daily life and workplace responsibilities and stressors. School teachers are no exception in this regard and in the case of nonEnglish teachers, a number of stressors including lack of autonomy and participation in decision making, insufficient equipment or supplies, difficulty in scheduling classes and lessons, poor administration support and work overload may result in teachers' job dissatisfaction and  psychological ill-health. As evidenced by Netterstrøm, Conrad, Bech, Fink, Olsen, Rugulies, and Stansfeld (2008), one significant factor resulting in psychological disorders such as depression, is job demand and social relationships which explains the presents study's finding regarding an inverse relationship between nonEnglish teachers' depression and their job satisfaction.

Also, foreign language anxiety and target language proficiency on the part of English teachers may justify the reason why nonEnglish teachers are not on a par with English teachers in manifesting anxiety. This finding also suggests that teachers exhibit mental health problems, which might be linked to many personal and/or workplace issues. Pressures from management, parents, difficult students, inadequate salary, and work overload are likely contributory factors to teachers' stress-related mental health problems.

In accord with the findings of Adler, Mclaughlin, Rogers, Chang, Laptisky, and Lerner (2006), who identified a negative correlation between depression severity and job performance, in the case of Iranian English and non-English teachers, the present study also found the teachers with high psychological disorder symptoms to be less effective. As Soodmand Afshar and Doosti (2016) confirm, the significant role of job satisfaction in teachers' performance, and owing to the important role of satisfied teachers in having more effective schools (Ostroff, 1992),  the present study' results offer insights to a better understanding and attending teachers' financial, moral, and educational needs in order to ensure teachers' satisfaction with their profession.

The findings of the study illuminate the significant role of teachers' mental health and morale in satisfaction with their occupation. One clear implication is the necessity for appointing school counselors and mentoring programs to provide a buffer for teachers' challenges, demands, and mental problems they might have and provide them with stress-reduction strategies in order to assist them in coping with their occupational challenges and alleviating their stress-related psychological problems. The findings of this study further highlight the significance of establishing a supportive social atmosphere at schools and language institutes in order for school principals to be able to cope with teachers with high levels of stress and foster their morale and mental health. One way to achieve this would be to have supportive interventions and mentoring programs at schools. Such interventions and mentoring programs can potentially have a positive influence on teachers' success and effectiveness, which, in turn, contributes to students' academic achievements.

Findings of the study might also be of benefit to policy makers and school authorities: as job satisfaction is an important contributory factor in teachers' mental health and consequently affects their effectiveness and performance, steps need to be taken on the part of educational authorities and policy makers to arrange workshops and meetings for teachers to discuss their problems and workplace challenges in order to offer possible solutions to their workplace demands. This study further suggests that a positive school environment where there is cooperation and communication among principals and teachers, is crucial in reducing teachers' job dissatisfaction.

Limitations and Suggestions for Further Research

A major limitation of the study concerns the participants' response bias as a result of employing self-report measures. Conducting a longitudinal study along with combining other qualitative data collection tools in order to obtain more objective and realistic results is therefore recommended. In addition, as this study was mainly correlational, future research is also suggested to investigate the possible effects of various variables on teachers' mental health (e.g., workplace variables causing stress & other mental health problems). Additionally, to have a more generalized and comprehensive picture of teachers' mental status and their job satisfaction, it is recommended that other researchers replicate the study with teachers from a range of other contexts and cultures with varying personal characteristics.


Volume 11, Issue 2
Summer and Autumn 2017
Pages 1-24
  • Receive Date: 06 February 2017
  • Revise Date: 13 September 2017
  • Accept Date: 02 October 2017