Teacher ResilienceESRC Seminar SeriesSeminar 2 Teacher Resilience: The Perspective from Occupational Health Psychology Professor Amanda Griffiths Professor Tom Cox Oxford: 16th June 2010
Outline • What is occupational health psychology? • What is resilience? • Have we confidence in how to measure it? Challenges to the development of ‘concepts’ • Is the evidence base secure enough to justify intervention? • Are our research methods ‘good enough’ to evaluate interventions?
Occupational Health Psychology • Using the principles of applied psychology to the study of occupational health & well-being • Individual issues – health behaviour, attitudes, personality, health, well-being, illness, treatment, rehabilitation • Systems issues – training, selection, induction, appraisal, work design, management styles, organisational culture
Resilience - Definition • Without an agreed & precise definition of any concept we cannot: • measure it reliably • study it scientifically • establish an adequate evidence base to justify interventions • evaluate those interventions • In the case of resilience, distinguish it from other similar concepts • stress inoculation, stress resistance, hardiness, coping strategies, burnout
Methodologies • Preferred methods in OHP include both qualitative & quantitative • Historical emphasis in Psychology on Natural Science Paradigm • And hence, on quantitative methods • Tension between needs of researchers and practitioners re ‘good enough’ evidence to justify publication or intervention
Measuring Concepts– Scientism? “The traditional research paradigm…has not worked very well….It has produced very reliable results about very unimportant things….In that process, we have lost touch with some of the important phenomena that go on in organisations, or have ignored them simply because they were too difficult to study by the traditional methods available” Edgar Schein (1991)
Outcome v Process Evaluation in Applied Psychology • Traditional research focusses on outcomes (measures of concepts) • Need to examine process issues • Need to examine reasons for no change • Intentional & unintentional processes • was the analysis of original problem wrong? • was the design of intervention inappropriate? • how was intervention implemented? • did it reach the intended number of people? • what were the barriers to compliance? • what were the views of key stakeholders? Griffiths, 1999
Next Steps • Move on from conceptual, descriptive, cross-sectional research to interventions • Interventions in applied settings are challenging to design, implement & evaluate • Evaluate process (what really happened?) and outcome (what changed? how? why?) • Use qualitative (what was it like?) and quantitative (how much of it was there?) approaches • Dependent on agreed definition