Occupational well-being in beginning early childhood educators of Hong Kong and the prediction of job-related factors: Variable-centered and person-centered approaches

Jianbin LI, An YANG, Rui ZHANG, Tuen Yung Iris LEUNG, Zhouxing LI

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The occupational well-being (OWB) of early childhood educators (ECEs) play a crucial role in their job performance, the development of a child, and the operation of early childhood education sectors. OWB of ECEs has been an increasing concern in recent years and this concern might be particularly salient for beginning ECEs given the multiple adaptive changes and challenges they encounter during the transition from training to teaching. However, research on the beginning ECEs’ OWB has been scarce. In this study, we employed both variable-centered and person-centered approaches to explore OWB and examined job demands and resources as predictors in 117 Hong Kong beginning ECEs (113 females, Mage = 21.71 years). They first reported job demands (i.e., class size, working hours, dealing with children with special education needs) and job resources (i.e., salary and job support) at the end of the first month of the fall semester upon working as in-service teachers. They then reported on four OWB variables (i.e., job satisfaction, work engagement, job stress, and job burnout) at the beginning of the spring semester. Results of the variable-centered analysis revealed that beginning ECEs reported medium or above-medium levels on the positive OWB indicators and medium or below-medium levels on the negative OWB indicators. Regression analysis found that despite some exceptions, job demands and job resources negatively (positively) and positively (negatively) predicted positive (negative) OWB indicators, respectively. Results of person-centered analysis suggested that the complex pattern of different OWB indicators could be categorized into two OWB profiles (medium well-being vs. relatively weak well-being – emotional exhaustion). Results of regression analysis showed that beginning ECEs with higher job demands were less likely, whereas those with more job resources were more likely, to be assigned to the medium well-being profile. These results inform which leverage points could be targeted to enhance a specific OWB indicator and identify who would be in dire need to enhance their OWB at the very beginning of their teaching career. Copyright © 2021 Li, Yang, Zhang, Leung and Li.

Original languageEnglish
Article number746123
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Citation

Li, J.-B., Yang, A., Zhang, R., Leung, T. Y., & Li, Z. (2021). Occupational well-being in beginning early childhood educators of Hong Kong and the prediction of job-related factors: Variable-centered and person-centered approaches. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.746123

Keywords

  • Professional well-being
  • Job demands
  • Job resources
  • Transition
  • JD-R model
  • Person-oriented approach
  • Variable-oriented approach
  • Kindergarten teachers

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