Upward, downward, and horizontal social comparisons: Effects on adjustment, emotions, and persistence in teachers

Sonia RAHIMI, Nathan C. HALL, Hui WANG, Rebecca MAYMON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study investigated the effects of three types of social comparisons in teachers (downward, horizontal, upward) as moderated by years of teaching experience on burnout, job satisfaction, intentions to quit, discrete teaching-related emotions, and illness symptoms. Findings from a sample of 513 teachers showed downward comparisons with worse-off others to positively predict job satisfaction and anger, and horizontal comparisons with similar peers found to have unanticipated negative effects on all variables assessed. In contrast, upward social comparisons to adaptive role models predicted significantly better levels on each study outcome. The results further showed significant interactions between upward comparisons and teaching experience on job satisfaction, intentions to quit, and enjoyment, with new teachers reporting higher job satisfaction and enjoyment, as well as lower intentions to quit, when they engaged in upward comparisons. Implications for professional development and future research are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Rahimi et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalInterdisciplinary Education and Psychology
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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persistence
emotion
job satisfaction
teacher
Teaching
burnout
role model
anger
experience
illness
interaction

Bibliographical note

Rahimi, S., Hall, N. C., Wang, H., & Maymon, R. (2017). Upward, downward, and horizontal social comparisons: Effects on adjustment, emotions, and persistence in teachers. Interdisciplinary Education and Psychology, 1(1). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.31532/InterdiscipEducPsychol.1.1.010

Keywords

  • Social comparisons
  • Teachers
  • Burnout
  • Persistence
  • Emotions