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Health Psychol. 2008 May;27(3):358-68. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.3.358.

Self-efficacy as a health-protective resource in teachers? A biopsychological approach.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany. aschwerd@uni-mainz.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the psychobiological correlates of self-efficacy in teachers.

DESIGN:

Study 1 examined associations between teacher self-efficacy and cardiac activation on a working day and Study 2 assessed the cortisol morning response in teachers with varying levels of teacher self-efficacy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Teacher self-efficacy was assessed by questionnaire. In Study 1 heart rate, heart rate variability, and locomotor activity were recorded by 22 hours ambulatory monitoring and subjective measures of stress and strain were obtained. Study 2 assessed the cortisol response to awakening to obtain a measure of HPA-axis activation and teachers filled in a questionnaire on physical complaints.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:

Study 1 found that self-efficacy proved protective for psychological well-being. Moreover, after controlling for locomotor activity, demographic, and lifestyle variables, self-efficacy was associated with elevated heart rate and attenuated heart rate variability during school and leisure time, respectively, but not during the night, thus questioning the health-implications of self-efficacy. Study 2 found that teachers high in self-efficacy exhibited an attenuated cortisol response to awakening and fewer cardiac complaints. The results of both studies are compatible with the view that teacher self-efficacy might act as a physiological toughening agent with possibly favorable health outcomes.

PMID:
18624601
DOI:
10.1037/0278-6133.27.3.358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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