Work Pressures Stemming From School Authorities and Burnout Among Physical Education Teachers: The Mediating Role of Psychological Needs Thwarting

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Universidad Pontificia Comillas
  • | 2 Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  • | 3 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • | 4 Loughborough University
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Purpose: To examine the role of psychological need thwarting in mediating physical education teachers’ work pressures stemming from school authorities and burnout. Method: A total of 345 physical education teachers (M = 47.46; SD = 8.79) completed some online validated questionnaires. Results: Structural equation modeling first revealed that pressures from school authorities predicted needs thwarting which, in turn, predicted burnout. In a second model, in which burnout was deemed as a multidimensional construct, autonomy and competence thwarting was found to predict both emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Discussion: These findings suggest that when teachers find themselves pressured by school authorities to act in certain way, they are more likely to feel more exhausted and to adopt more cynical attitudes toward their students due to the thwarting of their basic needs. Practical implications related to school and national policies are discussed. Conclusion: External pressures affect PE teachers’ emotional states and educational policies should address this issue.

Franco is with the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, Spain. Cuevas is with the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain. Coterón is with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Spray is with Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom.

Franco (efalvarez@comillas.edu) is corresponding author.
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