Factors associated with psychiatric morbidity in Spanish schoolteachers

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BackgroundThe relationship between psychiatric morbidity and characteristics of the work environment has been well-documented, and one of the professional groups in which psychiatric symptoms are most common is schoolteachers.AimsThe present study was designed to evaluate the association between psychiatric morbidity [measured with General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-28 score] and workplace-, sociodemographic- and personality-related variables in schoolteachers.MethodsA sample of 498 non-university teachers in the city of Granada (southern Spain) were studied with a questionnaire comprising items that covered work-related variables (work and professional variables, as well as job perceptions), sociodemographic characteristics of the teachers and personality, evaluated with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-125). The dependent variable was psychiatric morbidity, measured as scores >6 on the GHQ-28. Crude and adjusted odds ratios between each independent variable and psychiatric morbidity were obtained.ResultsIn the adjusted analysis, psychiatric morbidity was associated with heavy workload, physical assault from pupils, low appraisal by superiors, low job satisfaction, high stress, female gender and (regarding personal characteristics) high scores for harm avoidance and novelty seeking and low scores for self-directedness.ConclusionsWhen personality characteristics are taken into account, the effect of workplace and sociodemographic variables was limited, although workload, poor job satisfaction and female sex remained associated with psychiatric morbidity.

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