Students' school satisfaction as predictor of teachers' sickness absence: A prospective cohort study

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
The European Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.59). 04/2011; 22(2):215-9. DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr043
Source: PubMed


Although health is an important determinant of sickness absence, social relationships at the workplace may also affect levels of sick leaves. This study examined whether students' self-assessed satisfaction with school predicted sickness absence among teachers in Finnish secondary schools.
We measured school satisfaction of 17 033 students aged 14-16 years from 90 schools by a survey (the School Health Promotion Study) and aggregated school-specific scores of students' school satisfaction. For analysis, we linked these school-level data to records of sickness absence in the survey year and the following year among 2364 teachers working in the same schools (the 10-Town Study). For sickness absence longer than 9 days, we obtained diagnoses from national health registers.
Multilevel Poisson and logistic regression models adjusted for relevant baseline covariates showed a rate ratio of 1.2 [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.0-1.5] for long-term (>3 days) sickness absence among teachers working in schools with two lowest thirds of student satisfaction compared with teachers in schools with high student satisfaction. The corresponding odds ratio (OR) was higher for sickness absence with a psychiatric diagnosis (OR 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1-3.2), more specifically, neurotic and stress-related disorders (OR 2.6, 95% CI: 1.2-5.9). Students' school satisfaction was not associated with teachers' short-term (1-3 days) sick leaves. Conclusions: These data suggest a link between social relationships at school, as indexed by students' school satisfaction, and teachers' sick leaves, with the strongest associations seen for absences with mental health diagnoses.

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    • "IAQ problems, such as poor ventilation, are common in schools worldwide [6,24-26]. Also pupil-related psychosocial problems are rather common, and they have shown to negatively associate with teachers’ health and subsequent sick leave [27,28]. Low pupil cohort socioeconomic composition at school [29] and lack of school resources as measured by pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) [30] have also been associated with teacher sick leave. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and psychosocial problems are common in schools worldwide, yet longitudinal research on the issue is scarce. We examined whether the level of or a change in pupil-reported school environment (IAQ, school satisfaction, and bullying) predicts recorded sick leaves among teachers. Methods Changes in the school environment were assessed using pupil surveys at two time points (2001/02 and 2004/05) in 92 secondary schools in Finland. Variables indicating change were based on median values at baseline. We linked these data to individual-level records of teachers’ (n = 1678) sick leaves in 2001–02 and in 2004–05. Results Multilevel multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for baseline sick leave and covariates showed a decreased risk for short-term (one to three days) sick leaves among teachers working in schools with good perceived IAQ at both times (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.5-0.9), and for those with a positive change in IAQ (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4-0.9), compared to teachers in schools where IAQ was constantly poor. Negative changes in pupil school satisfaction (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-2.8) and bullying (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.0-2.3) increased the risk for short-term leaves among teachers when compared to teachers in schools where the level of satisfaction and bullying had remained stable. School environment factors were not associated with long-term sick leaves. Conclusions Good and improved IAQ are associated with decreased teacher absenteeism. While pupil-related psychosocial factors also contribute to sick leaves, no effect modification or mediation of psychosocial factors on the association between IAQ and sick leave was observed.
    BMC Public Health 09/2012; 12(1):770. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-770 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Çocuğun okulda ve okul çevresinde öğretmenlerle, akranlarıyla ve diğer yetişkinlerle geliştirdiği ilişkiler, yetişkinliğe geçerken daha fazla önem kazanmaya başlar (Lee vd., 1999). Okul yaşamının duygusal boyutlarının niteliğine ve okulla ilgili diğer olumlu tutumlara ilişkin bir gösterge olarak öğrencinin okul memnuniyeti, akademik başarı, motivasyon ve öğrenmeye karşı ilgi ile ilişkilidir (Ervasti vd., 2011). Okul memnuniyeti öğrencinin okul yaşamını bir bütün olarak ne derece olumlu algıladığına ilişkin bir duygudur. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the perceptions of primary school students' about principal and teacher support, perceived violence at school, and school satisfaction. A total of 3409 students from 6 th , 7 th , and 8 th grades at 42 primary schools in 14 cities were participated in the study. The School Atmosphere Scale was used to gather data. Results showed that students' perceptions of school satisfaction were positively related to both teacher support and principal support. However, student school satisfaction was negatively associated with the perception of school violence. Regression analysis indicated that perceived support from teachers and principals were significant predictors of school satisfaction. Although perceived school violence did not vary depending on gender, significant differences were found in students' perceptions of teacher support, principal support, and school satisfaction by the variables of gender and grade. Several suggestions are presented to enhance student school satisfaction and perceived social support.
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    ABSTRACT: Although teaching is considered a high-stress profession, research on stress-related outcomes among teachers, such as absence from work due to illness (i.e. sickness absence), remains scarce. It is possible that teachers are not a homogeneous group but include subgroups with particularly high risk of sickness absence, such as special education teachers. To examine differences in sickness absence rates between special and general education teachers in a large cohort of 2291 Finnish lower secondary school teachers. Register data on teachers' job titles, sociodemographic characteristics and sickness absence were obtained from 10 municipal employers' registers. Indices of sickness absence included rates of short-term (1-3 days) and long-term (>3 days) absence spells during 2003-05. With multi-level models adjusted for individual- and school-level covariates, we found that although the absolute level of sickness absence was higher among women than among men, male special education teachers were at a 1.36-fold (95% CI: 1.15-1.61) increased risk of short-term and a 1.33-fold (95% CI: 1.01-1.76) increased risk of long-term sickness absence compared with male teachers in general education. Among women, there were no differences in sickness absence between special and general education teachers. Compared to male teachers in general education, male teachers in special education appear to have an excess risk of absence from work due to illness. Future studies should examine the causes for this excess risk and determine the need for preventive interventions.
    Occupational Medicine 08/2011; 61(7):465-71. DOI:10.1093/occmed/kqr087 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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