Date of Degree

10-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Educational Psychology

Advisor

Georgiana Shick-Tryon

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology

Keywords

absenteeism, depression, irrational beliefs, self-efficacy, stress, teacher

Abstract

This study aimed to examine teacher-reported absenteeism and intention to leave the profession by investigating the relationships between teachers' demographic characteristics, self-rated teaching-related stress, job satisfaction, symptoms of depression, irrational beliefs, and self-efficacy. According to Steers and Rhodes' (1978; Rhodes & Steers, 1990) theory of employee absenteeism, employees are absent from or leave their jobs because of personal factors that influence or are associated with their ability to attend work, and motivational factors that relate to job satisfaction. Teacher characteristics such as age, gender, number of children, ethnicity, education level, and years of teaching experience frequently relate to absenteeism and attrition (Borman & Dowling, 2008, Bobbitt, Leich, Whitener, & Lynch, 1994; Boe, Bobbitt, Cook, Barkanic, & Mailsin, 1998; Grissmer & Kirby, 1987, 1992, 1997; Hafner & Owings, 1991; Murnane, Singer, & Willett, 1988), and are included in this dissertation. A sample of 252 NYS teachers completed an online survey. Correlations existed between variables whereby lower job satisfaction contributed to teachers desire to take a sick day due to perceived teaching related stress. Depression and irrational beliefs were associated with less teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction and greater intention to leave the teaching profession. In this study, it seems that a fairly high percentage of participants met suggested cut off score for symptoms of depression (approximately 40% of teachers). Regression analyses showed that as depression increased, the desire to take a day off work due to self-perceived, teaching-related stress also tended to increase. Irrational beliefs were also a significant predictor, of self-perceived, teaching- related stress, suggesting that as irrational beliefs increased, the desire to take a day off work due to stress also tended to increase. No significant relationships existed between self-efficacy, depression, irrational beliefs, and job satisfaction and participants' years of experience and level of education. This study supports the existing research as well as Steers and Rhodes' theory of absentee behavior and job-satisfaction (Ahlgren & Gadnib, 2011; Collie et al., 2012; Klassen & Chiu, 2010; Markow et al., 2013; Schonfeld, 1990a, 1990b, 1996).

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