Can Teachers’ Stress be as Contagious as the COVID-19? – The Truth about Stress Transfer from Person to Person and the Role of Nutrition

Juweria Abid1, Atta Ullah Jan1, Qazi Noor Ul Wahab2, Safia Begum3, Iftikhar Alam1*

1Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Department of Agriculture, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, KPK, Pakistan. 2Department of Human Nutrition, Agriculture University Peshawar, KPK, Pakistan. 3Nutrition Education, Awareness, and Training (NEAT), Cooperative Society, Charsadda, Pakistan

*Correspondence Email Address: iftikharalam@aup.edu.pk; iftikharalam@bkuc.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

Research interest on linking teachers’ occupational stress to classroom and student characteristics has recently emerged as an interesting area of investigation. This is because occupational stress among teachers has risen dramatically over the past decade, and burnout is presumed to be highest in teachers compared to other professions. Burnout is likely the leading cause for teachers’ early dropout of their profession, with as many as up to 50% of new teachers leaving their job as educators within the first three years. Higher levels of stress in the university environment relate to more mental health problems, adjustment problems, and lower academic achievement. In the past few years, research on school-related stress has expanded and included biological markers of stress in connection with stressful experiences. Especially during the early adolescent years, it is critical to have a responsive, supportive, and efficacious teacher. The important question in this context of wide prevalence of teachers’ burnout is whether stress is also contagious and can be transmitted from teachers to their students. The immediate answer is ‘yes’ as teacher burnout is associated with worse academic achievement and lower quality student motivation and students’ wellbeing via a possible. There is a clear need for more studies in this area, especially those adopting more robust designs, exploring moderating factors, and examining the mechanisms that explain these relationships. Nonetheless, in the present review we have tried to explore this new area and provide preliminary evidence that teacher burnout can affect the students they teach. In addition, we present in the last section a proposal of a study that we will undertake to investigate if teachers’ occupational stress is linked to students’ physiological stress regulation.

Keywords: COVID-19, Nutrition, Teacher’s Stress

Citation: Juweria Abid, Atta Ullah Jan, Qazi Noor Ul Wahab, Safia Begum, Iftikhar Alam. Can Teachers’ Stress be as Contagious as the COVID-19? – The Truth about Stress Transfer from Person to Person and Nutrition. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2022; 10 (2): 87-100.

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.14206/canad.j.clin.nutr.2022.02.06

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