Effects of spurned help and self-image on self-defensive behavior of primary school teachers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


How do helpers react if their offers of help have been rejected by needy others, the help has been accepted but not used, or the needy others seek help elsewhere? A model was advanced to capture how spurned helpers react (Rosen, Mickler, & Spiers, 1986). One avenue taken to assess the validity of the model is to assess if caregiving professionals react to spurning of their help in ways consistent with the propositions of the model. Accordingly, we have been examining spurning of help by peers among schoolteachers, having explored such experiences in kindergarten and secondary school teachers. The present study extended our work to primary school teachers to test the propositions of the model through examining (a) how teachers’ self-images of competence and caring influenced their reactions and (b) whether spurned teachers reacted self-defensively. 732 primary school teachers in the city of Shenzhen (China) responded to three waves of questionnaires measuring the variables under study. The results showed that the teachers experienced a moderate level of spurning, and coped by derogating the personal attributes of rejecting peers, with those having more positive self-images coping more intensely, thus supporting the validity of the propositions of the model. Copyright © 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Article number69601
Pages (from-to)1195-1204
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016



Wong, K. S., & Cheuk, W. H. (2016). Effects of spurned help and self-image on self-defensive behavior of primary school teachers. Psychology, 7(9). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2016.79120


  • Spurn help
  • Coping
  • Self-image
  • Primary school teachers
  • China