The everyday processes and mechanisms of becoming resilient teachers: An application of the drive to thrive theory abstract

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Job stress negatively impacts teachers’ mental health, teaching quality, and students’ learning. Prior work has considered the link of job stress with health and differential predictors of teachers’ health outcomes and performance but has sparsely examined the everyday processes and mechanisms of resilience among teachers. In this talk, we shall outline the Drive to Thrive (DTT) theory (Hou, Hall, & Hobfoll, 2018; Hou & Hobfoll, in press) in an attempt to advance existing knowledge base of stress resilience and psychoeducational interventions among teaching professionals. DTT theory asserts that stress resilience is largely determined by the “fabrics of everyday life” or the interwoven personal, social, and communal activities, procedures, routines, and practices where adaptation occurs. Primary daily routines refer to behaviors that are essential for survival and fulfilment of biological needs; examples are personal hygiene, eating, sleep, and maintaining home. Secondary daily routines refer to behaviors that discretional and optional depending on preference, motivation, and appropriate to situations; examples are exercising, social activities, leisure, and work/study. The DTT theory asserts that people are challenged to sustain their daily routines during stress, while they increasingly focus their attention on the stressors or their own distress (Principle 1). Traumatic or chronic stress are usually associated with contexts that affect and restrict people from practicing tasks that sustain their daily routines, resulting in their disruption or reduced regularity (Principle 2). In addition, because the routines and structure of lives have sustaining power, routines may not be terminated at first, despite initial disruption/reduced regularity. Then, like fabrics, when some break point is reached, there appears to be a rapid acceleration of disruption, resulting in termination (Principle 3). Applicability of the DTT theory’ principles and corollaries to studying resilience in differential teacher populations will be discussed. Conceptual foundations on how to enhance teachers’ stress resilience by focusing on daily routines in behavioral interventions and psychoeducational programs will be presented. Copyright © 2019 AERA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


eating behavior
everyday life
mental health


Hou, W. K. (2019, April). The everyday processes and mechanisms of becoming resilient teachers: An application of the drive to thrive theory abstract. Paper presented at the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting: Leveraging Education Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada.