Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #70
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Interventions Targeting Teacher Stress and Burnout
Saturday, May 28, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205B
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: JULIANNE DICOCCO (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology/ Union School District)
Discussant: Anthony Biglan (Oregon Research Institute; President, Values to Action )
CE Instructor: Melissa A. Diaz, M.A.
Abstract: The field of education is seeing record numbers of teachers leave the field. Ongoing stress and burnout may be why 30-46% of new teachers leave the field within the first five years (Newberry & Allsop, 2017). Add to this the additional stress of teaching during a global pandemic on recent survey by the American Teacher Panel found that one in four teachers reported they were highly likely to leave the field at the end of the 21-22 school year. This highlights the importance of interventions targeted to address teacher stress and burnout. This symposium examines well-established procedures to reduce teacher stress and burnout out as well as more recent mindfulness-based interventions delivered in person and through phone-based applications.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT-Interventions, Burnout, Educators, Self-Care
Target Audience: Intermediate. Junior BCBAs; behavior analysts in their first 5 years of practice; including practitioners, supervisors, or currently enrolled in or recently completed graduate-level work.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identity different measures of teacher stress and burnout 2. Identify actions towards and away specific values 3. Identify implications of incorporating ACT-based interventions for educators.
Teacher Burnout and Self-Care
NICOLE BARTON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Teachers report high levels of burnout, and teacher attrition is costly and disruptive to the learning of students. Burnout is a concept that has a constellation of effects from physical to psychological (García-Carmona et al., 2018l; Kim et al., 2017; Novack et al, 2020). Self-management interventions are cost effective means to intervene on a variety of areas from work performance to weight loss. Self-management program was utilized to increase self-care, which is area that may help produce protective measures against burnout. Much of the research on teacher burnout utilizes non-direct measurement, this study attempts to examine verbal behavior to see if it varies as the self-care intervention is implemented. Teacher verbal behavior would also be compared to self-report measures to determine if it was an indicator of burnout. Self-care was increased for participants during the intervention but not at follow up. Teacher verbal behavior did not vary with changes in self-care, but teacher verbal behavior did show patterns which might suggest utility as a direct measure of burnout. Finally, teacher self-report measures did not change from pre- to post-assessment. This study suggests more direct means to measure burnout and that self-report measures may not be sensitive enough measured for concepts such as burnout.
Using the ACT Matrix to Improve Psychological Flexibility, Stress, and Burnout in Special Education Teachers
MELISSA A. DIAZ (Shelby County Public Schools, Simmons University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Thomas G. Szabo (Touro University), Tyler Ré (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Currently, special education teachers are burning out and leaving their jobs due to stress, work overload, access to professional development, organizational climate, organizational follow-up, student behaviors, pressure from parents of the students, pressure from administrators, and interactions with co-workers or paraprofessionals (Billingsley et al., 2019; Cancio et al., 2013; Emery, & Vandenberg, 2010). Teachers who are experiencing burnout may not be experiencing day to day successes that align with their values. The purpose of the study will be to use the ACT Matrix to increase psychological flexibility and overt value driven behaviors with special education teachers. In session data will be collected on the ability to conditionally discriminate the choices associated with access to positive or negative reinforcement made during their day. Participants will learn how to increase their perspective taking skills about work situations using the ACT Matrix. Ecological momentary assessment for daily reporting will be used to collect data outside of sessions for value driven behaviors. By learning to identify their values, match their measurable actions to those values, gain the ability to stop in the moment, and take perspective to implement value driven actions, teachers should gain increased psychological flexibility while decrease symptoms of stress and burnout.



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