Workplace Conflicts of German Teaching Staff – Prevalence, Work-Related Aspects and Health Issues of a Burdened Sample

Friday, 20 July 2018: 16:10
Oral Presentation
Till BEUTEL, Institute of Teachers' Health at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany
Stephan LETZEL, Institute of Teachers‘ Health at the Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany
Objective: Cooperation and support between colleagues are important resources for work satisfaction and also for health aspects. The aim of our contribution is to present data of an occupational medical/psychological consultation concerning teacher’s health. We present characteristics of teachers seeking consultation and focus on workplace conflicts and its consequences. Methods: We analyzed medical records of N = 634 teachers and educational staff who had attended an occupational medical/psychological consultation between 05/2011 and 08/2016 at the Institute of Teachers‘ Health at the University Medical Center of the Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany). We used a comprehensive set of measures containing demographic and work-related variables as well as health-related aspects from the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). Preliminary analyses of the data (05/2011-07/2016) are presented in this abstract. Data from 05/2011-12/2017 will be presented at the conference. Results: The majority of the clients were women (approx. 73%), the mean age was 49.6 (SD = 9.1) years. Approximately 37% of the clients reported on conflicts with colleagues or supervisors. Extreme or severe conflicts were indicated by every fifth client. Preliminary results showed highly significant correlations between the severity of conflicts and work-related demands (rs = .34, p<0.001) as well as job satisfaction (rs = -.36, p < 0.001). Further associations were found between conflicts and health issues concerning subjective general health (Eta = .19; p < 0.01) and depressive symptoms (Eta = .31; p < 0.001). Conclusion: Conflicts at the workplace are a major topic and a common reason for consultation. We found significant associations to work-related aspects and health issues. Professionals who are concerned with occupational health management should consider multiple impacts of workplace conflicts. In order to support those clients and to prevent early retirement or health-related problems specific intervention should be offered, such as support for professional conflict solutions or coaching.