Students' school satisfaction as predictor of teachers' sickness absence: a prospective cohort study
ABSTRACT 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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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 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We examined whether having a high percentage of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) in basic education schools increases the risk of sickness absence among teachers and whether this risk is dependent on the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), an indicator of teacher resources at school. We obtained register data on 8089 teachers working in 404 schools in 10 municipalities in Finland during the school year 2004-2005. We used multilevel multinomial regression models to examine the risk of teachers' short- and long-term sickness absence in relation to the percentage of SEN pupils and the PTR at school. We tested the equality of trends in groups with high and low PTR using PTR × SEN interaction term. After adjustment for teacher and school characteristics, the risk for long-term absences was higher among teachers at schools with a high percentage of SEN pupils than among teachers at schools with a low percentage of SEN pupils [odds ratio (OR) 1.5, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.2-1.8). This was also the case for short-term absences (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.7). In analyses stratified by the PTR levels, the association between the percentage of SEN pupils and long-term absences was 15% higher among teachers with a high PTR than among those with a low PTR (P for interaction=0.10). Teachers' sickness absenteeism seems to increase with a higher percentage of SEN pupils, especially when the PTR is high. Teacher resources at schools that have a high percentage of SEN pupils should be well maintained to ensure the health of teachers.Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 02/2012; 38(3):209-17. DOI:10.5271/sjweh.3281 · 3.10 Impact Factor