Psychological Well-Being of Teachers of Preschool Educational Institutions in Russia

183

Abstract

The article presents the results of studying the features of psychological well-being of preschool educators of the Russian Federation using the PERMA-Profiler questionnaire adapted for the Russian-speaking sample by O.M. Isayeva, A.Yu. Akimova, E.N. Volkova. The study involved 2135 preschool teachers from 79 regions of 8 federal districts of the Russian Federation. The results of the study showed that teachers have a higher overall level of psychological well-being than in the main Russian sample, as well as higher values of the severity of the components of psychological well-being: "positive emotions", "relationships" with other people, "involvement" in activities, "meaning" and "achievements". The stratification variables associated with the psychological well-being of preschool educators are the characteristics of age, work experience in a certain position, the qualification category of the employee, marital status, the presence of children. The level of education and place of residence do not directly affect the level of psychological well-being.

General Information

Keywords: psychological well-being; factors of well-being; PERMA-Profiler; teachers of preschool educational organizations

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/pse.2023280307

Received: 20.02.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Volkova E.N., Isaeva O.M., Kornienko D.S., Semenov Y.I. Psychological Well-Being of Teachers of Preschool Educational Institutions in Russia. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2023. Vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 85–100. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2023280307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

Full text

Introduction

The PERMA model of human psychological well-being, developed and presented by M. Seligman in his “Theory of Well-Being”, has recently attracted the attention of representatives of both academic science as well as practical work, since it skillfully describes for a person the mechanisms to achieve well-being (flourishing) as a stable state of balance, expressed in a high level of emotional, psychological and social well-being [10; 17]. The main psychological well-being components in M. Seligman’s theory are the following: positive emotions as a person’s ability to remain optimistic and look at his/her past, present and future from a positive point of view (Positive Emotion); involvement as a repeated, stable state of concentration and absorption in a particular activity (Engagement); strong trusting relationships with other people, social connections (Relationships); meaning as a set of ideas for which a person lives and works (Meaning); achievements that correlate with the ability to set realistic goals and a sense of accomplishment (Achievement). In this theory well-being is defined not only and not so much as the achievement of pleasure, the avoidance of displeasure, or the feeling of happiness. It is associated with the experience of happiness and pleasure from life based on the completeness of a person’s self-realization in specific life conditions and circumstances, with finding a consistent synthesis between the social environment demands and the development of one’s own individuality [10; 17]. This approach allows us to consider psychological well-being as the most important resource for the effective performance of professional activities and a condition for the development of adult competence. This approach allows us to consider psychological well-being as the most important resource for the effective performance of professional activities and as a condition for the development of adult competence.

Studies of the psychological well-being of various professions representatives (e.g. higher school teachers, professional musicians, workers, hospital medical) and students of higher educational institutions have been conducted in many countries of the world: England, Greece, Korea, China, Italy, the United States of America, Russia. Findings from these studies indicate that psychological well-being is associated with increased job performance [13], resilience to work-related stress factors [16], intrinsic motivation [12], academic achievement, emotional intelligence, lower behavioral risks, and physical health [14].

There is also a special into psychological well-being in the context of optimizing relationships between people. Empirical studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have shown that psychological well-being ensures people’s social activity, their desire and openness to interaction, and willingness to help [9; 12; 15], which turns out to be fundamentally important in the study of teaching professions.

In the last decade, in the Russian Federation and throughout the world, there has been an increasing interest in the teachers’ professional activities, in the search and study of the main determinants of the effectiveness of this activity and in identifying conditions that contribute to the educational process optimization. However, the vast majority of research in this area is focused on studying issues related to teaching activities at school. The activities and personality of teachers of preschool educational institutions (PEIs) - kindergarten teachers, heads of preschool educational institutions - less often attract the researchers’ attention[5; 7; 8]. Meanwhile, the influence of a preschool teacher on a preschool child’s personality development is difficult to overestimate. A kindergarten teacher is the first professional teacher in a child’s life, institutionally designated by society, with whom he/she begins to interact as he/she grows up. It is crucial to emphasize that in conditions of the modern family institution destabilization and with a decrease of the parental competence level, the influence of preschool teachers on the preschool child’s personality development turns out to be significant and can act as a factor contributing to the preservation and development of the children’s psychological well-being.

Russian research contains isolated studies of the well-being of participants in the educational process in kindergartens, primarily teachers. So, L. Semenova and V. Semenova obtained data indicating that psychologically well-off teachers are characterized by a predominance of a democratic style of interaction with children and by the status of an achieved positive professional identity, while their less prosperous colleagues have a predominance of an authoritarian style of pedagogical communication and the status of a diffuse professional identity [7].

E. Kedyarova, N. Chernetskaya, E.Shchukina demonstrated that teachers’ subjective well-being varies in different types of kindergarten educational environments; it is more pronounced in an active educational environment. It is in this type of educational environment that teachers feel more secure and work more productively; they are more positive and enjoy success in their professional activities. This allows the authors to consider an active educational environment as one of the conditions for the psychological well-being of the educational process participants in preschool educational institutions [3].

The concept of preschool education quality monitoring, introduced in the Russian Federation several years ago, shows the need to take into account the characteristics of the teachers’ well-being when assessing the preschool educational environment quality. In this concept, the quality of the educational process is the quality of relationships and interactions between adults and children: “the quality of the educational process is based on the quality of relationships and interactions between adults and children, as well as children with each other. These relationships should promote the children's activity development, emotional well-being, health and safety of children" [4].

The education quality monitoring system (including the presented principles, selected indicators and assessment procedures), as well as the requirements and conditions for creating an educational environment for preschool children, appeal to the development of certain personal resources among preschool teachers, among which psychological well-being occupies a special place. A high level of preschool teachers’ psychological well-being and the development of its main components will ensure the positive functioning of the individual in the profession, contribute to a person’s self-realization and, most importantly, will influence the children’s development, contribute to the preservation of their health and well-being.

The PERMA model of human well-being by M. Seligman that we applied allows us to consider the  preschool teachers’ psychological well-being  as a basic personal resource for positive professional functioning. In our study, an idea of ​​the state of this resource is provided by answers to the following questions: what emotions predominate among preschool teachers, do they feel lonely, how do they assess their health, how involved are they in their professional activities, what is the quality of their relationships with others, how interesting and fulfilling is their life,  how educators evaluate their achievements. The research of the preschool teachers’ psychological well-being allows, in our opinion, to answer the question about the feasibility of fulfilling the tasks and requirements for preschool education in the Russian Federation today, to identify barriers to the implementation of preschool education related to theteacher’s personality development, and to determine the directions of their development. 

The specifics of the research set-up, techniques used and the sample

This study represents part of a large research that focused on the professional activities and personal characteristics of teachers of preschool educational institutions in the Russian Federation.

The purpose of this study was to explore the preschool teachers’ psychological well-being characteristics in preschool educational institutions based on the PERMA model of human well-being [17].

The study of the preschool teachers’ psychological well-being in preschool educational institutions was carried out using the PERMA-Profiler questionnaire (Butler, Kern, 2016) [11], adapted for the Russian-speaking sample by O. Isaeva, A. Akimova, E. Volkova [1]. The results of the Russian version testing and evaluation demonstrated the possibility of using this measuring tool in Russian culture. The PERMA-Profiler questionnaire is similar in structure to the original version and meets the psychometric requirements of the measurement instruments. Published data on the use of the Russian-language version of the PERMA-Profiler questionnaire on a sample of 6229 people can be used as indicative norms for Russian-speaking research participants [2].

The study included an online survey and was conducted on a voluntary, free basis, anonymously. The diagnostic complex included questions about the куызщтвутеыэ socio-demographic characteristics (such as age, work experience, level of education, qualification category, position, marital status, parental status, place of residence).

The research results were processed using the methods of descriptive statistics, frequency analysis, and difference analysis (Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test). IBM SPSS Statistics 26, Jamovi 2.3.26 software products were used to process the data.

The study was conducted in 79 regions from 8 federal districts of the Russian Federation. In each region, teachers from urban and rural preschool educational institutions participated in the study. The ratio of urban and rural preschool teachers was approximately 2:1 - 1327 (62.2%) teachers worked in urban preschool educational institutions, 808 (37.8%) - in rural ones.

The study involved 2,164 people, with the vast majority of respondents (2,141 people (98.9%)) being women. Missing values ​​and indeterminate responses served as grounds for excluding respondents' answers from the database. The final size of the research sample was 2135 people - women aged from 18 to 74 years, with work experience from 1 to 55 years, mainly with secondary or higher education.

Results

The overall psychological well-being expressiveness among teachers of preschool educational institutions was within the average values ​​typical for the Russian-speaking sample (Table 1) [1; 2].

 

Table 1

Psychological well-being components’ indicators of teachers ofpreschool educational institutions

 

Scale title

Pre-school teachers (N=2135)

Russian-speaking research participants (N=6229)

z

p

r

 

M

(SD)

Min/

Max

M

(SD)

Min/

Max

General well-being

7,98 (1,28)

0/10

7,13 (1,55)

0/10

22,59*

<0,001

0,33

Positive emotions

7,97 (1,50)

0/10

7,29 (1,80)

0/10

15,12*

<0,001

0,22

Relations

7,77 (1,78)

0/10

7,11 (2,00)

0/10

13,67*

<0,001

0,20

Involvement

7,82 (1,46)

0/10

7,13 (1,60)

0/10

17,37*

<0,001

0,25

Sense

8,08 (1,56)

0/10

7,10 (1,90)

0/10

21,78*

<0,001

0,32

Achievements

8,13 (1,31)

0/10

7,18 (1,55)

0/10

25,43*

<0,001

0,37

Negative emotions

4,76 (1,86)

0/10

5,80 (1,87)

0/10

36,32*

<0,001

0,53

Health

7,07 (1,57)

0/10

6,70 (1,98)

0/10

31,70*

<0,001

0,46

Loneliness

3,27 (3,12)

0/10

4,53 (2,78)

0/10

47,25*

<0,001

0,67

Happiness

8,38 (1,76)

0/10

7,17 (1,52)

0/10

47,69*

<0,001

0,68

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; z – normalized value of the Mann-Whitney test; r – effect size index (rank biserial correlation); p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant.

Expression levels of the components “positive emotion” (M=7.97), “relationships” (M=7.77), “engagement” (M=7.82), “meaning” (M=8.08), “achievement"(M=8.13) among preschool teachers significantly exceeds similar values ​​among respondents from the general Russian sample.

Among additional indicators that are not directly included in the PERMA model, but allow a more complete description of the psychological well-being phenomenon, higher values ​​compared to the general sample were obtained on the “happiness” (M = 8.38) and “health” (M = 7.07) scales. Lower values ​​were noted on the scales “loneliness” (M=3.27) and “negative emotion” (M=4.76), which, according to the authors of the original PERMA-Profiler questionnaire, characterize symptoms of impaired well-being.

Thus, the overall psychological well-being indicator, the PERMA model well-being components indicators, as well as additional indicators of “happiness” and “health” among teachers of preschool educational institutions are higher, and indicators of “negative emotions” and “loneliness” are lower than in the general Russian-speaking sample .

A significant amount of data accumulated on the results of studying psychological well-being using the PERMA-Profiler questionnaire suggested a dependence of the severity of well-being indicators expressiveness among preschool teachers on age, working experience in this position, level of education, marital status, and the presence or absence of children. The qualification category is significant for the preschool teachers’ professional activities assessment, so this characteristic was also considered as a stratification variable in the study. In addition, taking into account the specifics of activities in the preschool education system, we considered such an indicator as whether or not respondents have their own children. The average values ​​of the overall psychological well-being indicator and standard deviation for different stratification groups of respondents, as well as the results of the analysis of differences are presented in Table. 2.

 

Table 2

Analysis of the relationships between stratification variables and psychological well-being components (N=2135)

stratification variables

% (N)

General well-being

 

M(SD)

Х2(df),p, ε2

Age, y.o.

 

 

Х2(df=3)=37,0*, p<0,001, ε2=0,017

18-35

23,0 (490)

7,73 (1,42)

36-45

30,3 (646)

8,00 (1,29)

46-55

32,0 (683)

8,09 (1,24)

Older than 56

14,8 (316)

8,40 (1,08)

work experience, years

 

 

Х2(df=4)=17,10*, p=0,002, ε2=0,008

Less than 1

9,3 (198)

7,80 (1,33)

1-3

12,7 (272)

7,81 (1,42)

4-10

29,4 (628)

8,03 (1,33)

11-20

28,3 (604)

8,10 (1,22)

More than 20

20,3 (433)

8,16 (1,22)

Education

 

 

Х2(df=1)=0,21, p=0,647, ε2=<0,001

General

27,1 (579)

8,06 (1,27)

High

72,4 (1546)

8,02 (1,30)

Other

0,5 (10)

 

-

Qualification category

 

 

Х2(df=2)=6,34*, p=0,012, ε2=0,005

Highest

36,2 (772)

8,13 (1,20)

First

29,7 (635)

8,07 (1,26)

N/A

34,1 (728)

7,87 (1,39)

Martial status

 

 

Х2(df=1)=43,60*, p<0,001, ε2=0,020

maried

65,8 (1404)

8,17 (1,20)

single

34,1 (729)

7,75 (1,41)

No answer

0,1 (2)

 

-

Children

 

 

Х2(df=1)=39,50*, p<0,001, ε2=0,016

Have children

88,7 (1895)

8,06 (1,25)

Don't have children

11,3 (232)

7,54 (1,51)

Place of residence

 

 

Х2(df=1)=5,09, p=0,405, ε2=0,002

City (Town)

62,2 (1327)

7,97 (1,28)

Village

37,8 (808)

7,99 (1,28)

         

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; Х2 – Kruskal-Wallis test; df – number of degrees of freedom; p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant;  ε2  – effect size index.

The data obtained demonstrate that the stratification variables associated with the overalll psychological well-being indicator of preschool teachers are such characteristics as age,  working experience in this position, qualification category of the employee, marital status, and parental status. The level of education and place of residence do not directly affect the level of well-being. Therefore, differences in psychological well-being among teachers of rural and urban preschool educational institutions, as well as among teachers with different levels of education, were not considered further. The most significant variables in the context of the psychological well-being of preschool teachers were the variables of age, marital status and parental status,  please refer to Tables 3-5 for the details. 

Psychological well-being and age

Among study participants assigned to different age groups, the expressiveness of most psychological well-being components varies. The exception is the indicators of the “relationship” and “happiness” scales (Table 3).

Table 3

Psychological well-being components’ indicators of teachers of different ages (N=2135)

Scale title

18-35 y.o.

36-45 y.o.

46-55 y.o.

Older than 55 y.o.

Х2(df),p, ε2

 

M

SD

M

SD

M

SD

M

SD

 

General well-being

7,73

1,42

8,00

1,29

8,09

1,24

8,12

1,21

Х2(df=3)=46,86*; p<0,001; ε2=0,022

Positive emotions

7,77

1,61

7,94

1,53

7,99

1,47

8,29

1,26

Х2(df=3)=18,27*; p<0,001; ε2=0,009

Relations

7,69

1,78

7,77

1,83

7,73

1,78

8,00

1,64

Х2(df=3)=6,40; p=0,094; ε2=0,003

Involvement

7,35

1,51

7,72

1,44

8,01

1,40

8,34

1,30

Х2(df=3)=112,32*; p<0,001; ε2=0,053

Sense

7,64

1,73

8,06

1,54

8,18

1,48

8,60

1,26

Х2(df=3)=69,32*; p<0,001; ε2=0,032

Achievements

7,70

1,46

8,09

1,30

8,27

1,18

8,60

1,15

Х2(df=3)=95,19*; p<0,001; ε2=0,045

Negative emotions

5,15

1,81

4,79

1,90

4,65

1,77

4,36

1,96

Х2(df=3)=32,43**; p<0,001; ε2=0,015

Health

6,82

1,70

7,11

1,54

7,51

1,42

7,07

1,57

Х2(df=3)=18,10*; p<0,001; ε2=0,008

Loneliness

3,75

3,13

3,18

3,12

3,10

3,03

3,08

3,24

Х2(df=3)=17,44*; p<0,001; ε2=0,008

Happiness

8,24

1,91

8,41

1,77

8,37

1,74

8,57

1,51

Х2(df=3)=3,20; p=0,362; ε2=0,002

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation;Х2 – Kruskal-Wallis test; df – number of degrees of freedom; p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant; ε2 effect size index.

Psychological well-being indicators of preschool teachers of the age group 18-35 years old in comparison with the indicators of the general sample of Russian female youth of the same age (N = 4040), obtained in the study by E. Volkova, A. Akimova, O.. Isaeva [1; 2], are presented in table. 4.

Table 4

Psychological well-being indicators of teachers aged 18-35 years and Russian youth of the same age

Название шкалы

Pre-school teachers (N=2135)

Russian youth (women)

(N=4040)

z

p

r

 

M

SD

M

SD

General well-being

7,67

1,41

7,22

1,46

11,84*

<0,001

0,28

Positive emotions

7,77

1,61

7,40

1,71

9,26*

<0,001

0,24

Relations

7,69

1,78

7,24

1,94

10,18*

<0,001

0,26

Involvement

7,35

1,51

7,03

1,59

15,28*

<0,001

0,33

Sense

7,64

1,73

7,14

1,77

17,83*

<0,001

0,35

Achievements

7,70

1,46

7,19

1,50

22,41*

<0,001

0,42

Negative emotions

5,15

1,81

5,95

1,80

16,14*

<0,001

0,34

Health

6,82

1,70

6,61

1,91

5,06*

<0,001

0,14

Loneliness

3,75

3,13

4,40

2,74

11,24*

<0,001

0,28

Happiness

8,24

1,91

7,56

2,04

13,57*

<0,001

0,31

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; z – normalized value of the Mann-Whitney test; r – effect size index (rank biserial correlation); p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant.

Noteworthy is the increase in psychological well-being with age: teachers of preschool educational institutions feel more prosperous with age, maintaining optimism, passion for activities, and understanding of the ideas for which a person lives and works. At the same time, strong trusting relationships with other people and social connections retain their value at all ages. The pronounced trend of growth in the overall psychological well-being indicator and its main components with age contradicts the trend identified in previous studies, both Russian [1; 2], as well as international [11], which suggests a significant contribution to the well-being experience of the the specific activities of Russian preschool educational institutions: not only the age of the respondent, but also his/her work in a preschool educational institution is important.

A comparison of the well-being components expressiveness among preschool teachers of different age groups showed that the lowest values ​​of psychological well-being indicators were found in the age group of 18-35 years. But despite the fact that the well-being components among teachers of preschool educational institutions in the age category of 18-35 years are expressed to a lesser extent than among teachers of other age groups, the values ​​of these indicators are still significantly higher than in the general sample of Russian women of the same age group.

Similar patterns are observed on additional scales of the questionnaire: indicators of “happiness” and “health” among preschool teachers aged 18-35 years are higher compared to the general sample of Russian women of the same age and lower compared to older preschool teachers. For the indicators “negative emotions” and “loneliness” the correlations are inverse. 

Psychological well-being and marital status

The marital status of preschool teachers is also associated with their well-being (Table 5).

Table 5

Well-being components’ indicators of teachers with different marital status (N=2135)

Scale title

Maried

Single

z

р

r

 

M

SD

M

SD

General well-being

8,17

1,20

7,75

1,41

6,60*

<0,001

0,17

Positive emotions

8,08

1,42

7,74

1,62

4,46*

<0,001

0,12

Relations

8,09

1,57

7,17

1,99

10,46*

<0,001

0,27

Involvement

7,87

1,43

7,72

1,51

2,17*

0,030

0,06

Sense

8,20

1,49

7,86

1,66

4,29*

<0,001

0,11

Achievements

8,19

1,27

8,02

1,38

2,17*

0,030

0,06

Negative emotions

4,69

1,81

4,90

1,95

2,09*

0,036

0,06

Health

6,71

1,83

6,62

1,91

0,85

0,397

0,02

Loneliness

2,80

2,99

4,18

3,18

9,75*

<0,001

0,25

Happiness

8,59

1,60

7,98

1,98

6,81*

<0,001

0,17

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; z – normalized value of the Mann-Whitney test; r – effect size index (rank biserial correlation); p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant.

Married teachers have more pronounced overall well-being indicators and all of the components. Unmarried teachers had higher scores on the “negative emotions” and “loneliness” scales, which are negatively associated with well-being. The largest effect size was determined by the indicators “relationship” and “loneliness”, which characterize the processes of interaction with other people.

Psychological well-being indicators of preschool teachers (married and unmarried) in comparison with the corresponding indicators of the general Russian female sample (N=4040) are presented in Table. 6.

Table 6

Psychological well-being indicators of married and unmarried teachers and a general Russian female sample

Scale title

Martial status

Teachers

General sample  

z

р

r

 

M

SD

M

SD

General well-being

Married

8,17

1,20

7,11

1,55

6,60*

<0,001

0,17

single

7,75

1,41

7,42

1,41

6,49*

<0,001

0,17

Positive emotions

Married

8,08

1,42

7,28

1,80

4,46*

<0,001

0,12

single

7,74

1,62

7,48

1,63

3,00*

0,003

0,08

Relations

Married

8,09

1,57

6,91

2,06

10,46*

<0,001

0,27

single

7,17

1,99

7,58

1,77

4,99*

<0,001

0,15

Involvement

Married

7,87

1,43

7,08

1,59

2,17*

0,030

0,06

single

7,72

1,51

7,09

1,56

2,08*

0,041

0,06

Sense

Married

8,20

1,49

7,00

1,89

4,29*

<0,001

0,11

single

7,86

1,66

7,33

1,66

4,98*

<0,001

0,18

Achievements

Married

8,19

1,27

7,13

1,53

2,17*

0,030

0,06

single

8,02

1,38

7,30

1,46

3,51*

<0,001

0,10

Negative emotions

Married

4,69

1,81

6,62

1,97

2,09*

0,036

0,06

single

4,90

1,95

6,52

1,88

1,94

0,052

0,05

Health

Married

6,71

1,83

4,90

2,71

0,85

0,39

0,02

single

6,62

1,91

3,92

2,68

11,67*

<0,001

0,29

Loneliness

Married

2,80

2,99

3,96

2,15

9,75*

<0,001

0,26

single

4,18

3,18

4,50

2,78

7,47*

<0,001

0,24

Happiness

Married

8,59

1,60

6,09

1,85

6,87*

<0,001

0,18

single

7,98

1,98

5,95

1,75

2,32*

0,021

0,07

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; z – normalized value of the Mann-Whitney test; r – effect size index (rank biserial correlation); p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant.

Although psychological well-being components among teachers of preschool educational institutions who are not officially married are less pronounced than among teachers who are married, the values ​​of these indicators are still significantly higher than in the general sample of Russian women. The exception is the “relationship” indicator in the group of unmarried teachers: this indicator is significantly lower even in comparison with the general sample of Russian women.

The same patterns are observed in the indicator on the additional “happiness” scale: among teachers of preschool educational institutions it is higher compared to the general sample of Russian women, both among those who are officially married and among those who are not married.

Psychological well-being and parental status

Among study participants with different numbers of children, most indicators of psychological well-being differed significantly (Table 7).

Table 7

Psychological well-being components’ indicators of teachers with and without children (N=2135)

Scale title

Have children

No children

z

р

r

 

M

SD

M

SD

General well-being

8,06

1,25

7,54

1,51

5,45*

<0,001

0,22

Positive emotions

8,02

1,46

7,50

1,72

4,46*

<0,001

0,18

Relations

7,82

1,76

7,37

1,88

3,64*

<0,001

0,15

Involvement

7,87

1,43

7,42

1,63

4,06*

<0,001

0,16

Sense

8,15

1,51

7,52

1,81

5,14*

<0,001

0,21

Achievements

8,20

1,28

7,61

1,47

5,87*

<0,001

0,23

Negative emotions

4,72

1,85

5,13

1,94

3,04*

0,002

0,12

Health

6,71

1,82

6,39

2,12

2,19*

0,029

0,09

Loneliness

3,16

3,11

4,20

3,10

5,08*

<0,001

0,20

Happiness

8,45

1,71

7,80

2,06

4,79*

<0,001

0,19

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; z – normalized value of the Mann-Whitney test; r – effect size index (rank biserial correlation); p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant.

Table 8

Indicators of psychological well-being indicators of teachers with and without children and a general Russian female sample

Scale title

Family status

Teachers

General sample

z

р

r

 

M

SD

M

SD

General well-being

Has children

8,06

1,25

7,37

1,46

14,94*

<0,001

0,41

No children

7,54

1,51

7,17

1,53

3,46*

0,001

0,13

Positive emotions

Has children

8,02

1,46

7,43

1,68

10,40*

<0,001

0,27

No children

7,50

1,72

7,32

1,76

1,08

0,279

0,07

Relations

Has children

7,82

1,76

7,32

1,87

8,11*

<0,001

0,25

No children

7,37

1,88

7,10

2,03

1,73

0,083

0,08

Involvement

Has children

7,87

1,43

7,10

1,59

14,06*

<0,001

0,41

No children

7,42

1,63

7,07

1,57

3,06*

0,002

0,13

Sense

Has children

8,15

1,51

7,34

1,67

14,73*

<0,001

0,40

No children

7,52

1,81

7,02

1,87

3,85*

<0,001

0,14

Achievements

Has children

8,20

1,28

7,33

1,47

17,95*

<0,001

0,43

No children

7,61

1,47

7,13

1,52

4,43*

<0,001

0,15

Negative emotions

Has children

4,72

1,85

5,91

1,76

35,11*

<0,001

0,56

No children

5,13

1,94

6,10

1,83

12,40*

<0,001

0,36

Health

Has children

6,71

1,82

6,56

1,90

25,51*

<0,001

0,50

No children

6,39

2,12

6,59

1,96

10,48*

<0,001

0,27

Loneliness

Has children

3,16

3,11

4,05

2,76

27,29*

<0,001

0,52

No children

4,20

3,10

4,75

2,70

9,23*

<0,001

0,26

Happiness

Has children

8,45

1,71

7,71

1,95

36,72*

<0,001

0,59

No children

7,80

2,06

7,34

2,12

14,49*

<0,001

0,39

Legend: M – arithmetic mean value; SD – standard deviation; z – normalized value of the Mann-Whitney test; r – effect size index (rank biserial correlation); p – level of statistical significance; * – differences are statistically significant.

Teachers of preschool educational institutions with children are distinguished by higher values ​​on all scales of the questionnaire that are positively associated with well-being, and vice versa, by lower values ​​of additional indicators on scales that are negatively associated with well-being, compared with the corresponding all-Russian sample of women. The well-being of teachers who have children is generally higher than the well-being of Russian women who do not have children.

The differences in the psychological well-being level of preschool teachers who do not have children are less pronounced in comparison with the corresponding all-Russian sample of women. This is manifested, firstly, in a smaller effect size for teachers compared to the all-Russian sample in terms of overall well-being indicators, and such components asengagement,” “meaning,” “achievement,” and additional indicators of “negative emotions,” “loneliness,” and “happiness.” In addition, there are no statistically significant differences between teachers of preschool educational institutions and the all-Russian sample of women without children in terms of “positive emotions” and “relationships”.

The presence of children is associated with the teachers’ overall psychological well-being, significantly ensures the experience of positive emotions, a sense of connections with other people, protects against feelings of loneliness and gives life additional meaning. Such components of psychological well-being as “engagement,” “meaning,” and “achievement” do not have the same pronounced tendency to be connected. However, these components in the structure of well-being are more pronounced among teachers who have children than among those who do not have them.

Conclusion

The study of the psychological well-being of teachers of preschool educational institutions reveals the characteristics of the personal functioning of representatives of one of the most important teaching professions.

The results of the research of psychological well-being and its components among teachers of Russian preschool educational institutions that make up the research sample showed that their well-being level is quite high and thereby corresponding to the possibilities of fulfilling educational and developmental tasks, which are outlined in the main guidelines of the Russian preschool education system.

Teachers of preschool educational institutions that make up the study sample are distinguished by a higher level of overall psychological well-being than that of the main Russian sample [2], as well as higher values ​​of the following well-being components: “positive emotions”, “relationships” with other people, “engagement” into activity, the “meaning” of activity and “achievement”. They are characterized by a higher subjective assessment of the experience of happiness and health, which reflects a person’s sense of physical health and vitality. They are less likely to experience negative emotions and loneliness.

Positive trends in the psychological well-being level among preschool teachers who make up the sample of our study are associated with their age: the older they are and the longer they work, the higher their well-being level. Probably, a specific mechanism for achieving well-being for these preschool teachers is the mechanisms of building positive relationships with loved ones, the ability to be optimistic about life, a sense of involvement in professional activities and a feeling of being in demand and needed.

The most relatively “disadvantaged” group were teachers aged 18-35. This group had the lowest (within the group) indicators of overall well-being and its components. At the same time, young preschool teachers, compared to the general Russian sample, feel themselves to be more prosperous people. For this group, important and specific ways to achieve psychological well-being are the involvement of a young teacher in activities and achievements in this activity as a result of their own efforts and responsibility. These mechanisms of internal motivation for activity as a source of achieving psychological well-being ensure a young teacher’s subjectivity development. However, the study results suggest that these trends do not develop during the professional career of preschool teachers: the older the teacher becomes, the longer he/she works in a preschool educational institution, the less influence activity mechanisms have on his/her well-being.

Among factors of psychological well-being can be considered the marital status of preschool teachers as well as their parental status: i.e. marriage, family, and their own children increase the feeling of well-being, while a violation of family status leads to deformation of an important well-being component such as the ability to build positive relationships with other people, social connections and contacts.

Thus, the variables associated with the psychological well-being of preschool teachers are the age, marital status, and parental status. Although working experience in a certain position and the qualification category of an employee influence the feeling of well-being, this impact cannot be called significant. The level of education and place of residence do not directly affect the well-being level.

Our study showed that, in general, the psychological well-being of preschool teachers is a sufficient personal resource that meets the criterion of realistic fulfillment of tasks and requirements for preschool education in the Russian Federation, and the identified features of the psychological well-being of preschool teachers can serve as the basis for optimizing personnel policy in Russian preschool education.

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Information About the Authors

Elena N. Volkova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Leading Researcher, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Professor of the Department of Psychology of Education and Prevention of Deviant Behavior, Moscow Pedagogical State University (MPGU), Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9667-4752, e-mail: envolkova@yandex.ru

Oksana M. Isaeva, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Organizational Psychology Department, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0926-5182, e-mail: oisaeva@hse.ru

Dmitriy S. Kornienko, Doctor of Psychology, Senior Researcher, Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6597-264X, e-mail: dscorney@mail.ru

Yuri I. Semenov, Researcher, Scientific and Educational Center of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Yakutsk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8766-3936, e-mail: yra_semen1109@mail.ru

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