The value of workshops on psychological flexibility for early childhood special education staff

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APA Citation: 

Biglan, A., Layton, G. L., Backen Jones, L., Hankins, M. & Rusby, J. C. (2013). The value of workshops on psychological flexibility for early childhood special education staff. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 32(4), 196-210.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

High stress and burnout are common for early childhood special educators, contributing to high rates of attrition, diminished educational effectiveness, and high turnover. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a promising approach for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of problems. Using a randomized wait-list control design, this pilot study evaluated whether ACT workshops delivered to preschool teachers who serve children with developmental disabilities would improve stress-related problems of teachers (i.e., stress, depression, and burnout) and increase collegial support. At pretest, measures of experiential avoidance (EA) and mindful awareness (MA) showed significant relationships to reports of depression, stress, and burnout. The intervention reduced staff members’ EA, increased teachers’ MA and valued living (VL), and improved teachers’ sense of efficacy. This suggests that ACT workshops can help influence factors affecting depression, stress, and burnout in an early childhood special education setting.

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