Caregiving in academia: Examining educator well-being and burnout during prolonged stressors

Rachael E. Bishop, Andrew C. High

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the face of prolonged stress, care professionals, including educators, often experience higher rates of burnout and worsened mental well-being. As school systems across the United States reconsidered their instructional practices in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, educators have had to navigate a new academic landscape hallmarked by change, stress, burnout, and hopefully resilience. Guided by the theory of resilience and relational load (TRRL), this national study of educators (N = 449; Mage = 41.33 [14.49], 57.2% Female) illuminates the ways in which connectedness with colleagues, support gaps, and stress appraisals shape coping during the pandemic. Specifically, educators who reported higher levels of connection with their colleagues tended to experience enhanced mental well-being and reduced levels of burnout because they perceived lower levels of stress and greater surpluses in support. Findings deepen our understanding of risk and protective factors contributing to burnout and well-being within academia, underscore the value of relationships with colleagues, and refine the predictions of the TRRL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1274-1292
Number of pages19
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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