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2016 - ICA's 66th Annual Conference Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
1. Priem, Jennifer. and Giles, Steven. "A Mixed-Method Approach to Understanding Supportive Interactions: Support Seekers’ Problem Disclosures and Support Provider Reactions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ICA's 66th Annual Conference, Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk, Fukuoka, Japan, Jun 09, 2016 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-12-10 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The goal of the study was to assess emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions of support providers when confronted with a distressed individual. Participants (n = 27) engaged with a distressed confederate, who either disclosed very little about the source of their distress (implicit disclosure) or gave all of the details (explicit disclosure). Quantitative results showed that individuals who received that explicit problem disclosure reported that the conversation was more stressful, but were also more likely to approach (i.e. provide support) than participants who received the implicit disclosure. Approximately half of the participants in the implicit disclosure condition approached. Theme analysis of conversation content showed that support providers engaged in all levels of verbal person-centeredness and tended to follow a script for support. Content also varied by disclosure condition, such that individuals in the implicit condition tended to look for nonverbal cues that support was desired and individuals in the explicit condition were more likely to engage in strategies to limit conversation.

2015 - SRCD Biennial Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
2. Zinsser, Katherine., Christensen, Claire. and Torres, Luz. "She’s supporting them, who’s supporting her? Preschool center-level social-emotional supports and teacher well-being" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 19, 2015 <Not Available>. 2019-12-10 <>
Publication Type: Individual Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Teacher emotional well-being and job satisfaction are crucial to student success. Poor teacher well-being can harm teacher-student relationships and classroom climate (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Zinsser et al., 2013), and lead teachers to leave the profession (Montgomery & Rupp, 2005). Upwards of a quarter of Head Start teachers report significant levels of depression (Whitaker, Becker, Herman, & Gooze, 2013), therefore additional research into supporting teachers and improving retention is critical. In the present study, we explore predictors of teacher depression, job dissatisfaction, perceptions of center climate, and perceptions of behavioral support. Center characteristics predict variance in classroom quality and emotional support (Karoly, Zellman, & Perlman, 2013; Zinsser et al., 2014) and likely also predict teacher well-being. Such results would support future center-level interventions.


The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 2009 cohort provides a nationally representative sample of 120 Head Start centers including 370 classrooms. Teachers participating at Time 2 were 99.4% Female, 52% White, and on average had taught for 11.55 years (SD=7.27). Teachers reported job satisfaction (reversed), depression, perception of center climate, children’s behavior, and supports for challenging behaviors. Additionally teachers’ reports of their centers’ use of a social skills curriculum, mental health consultant on staff, and CSEFEL materials were aggregated into a Social-Emotional Supports (SESs) variable. Center directors reported the total number of lead teachers at their centers. Non-normal variables (Depression and Dissatisfaction) were transformed prior to analysis.
We used a Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM; Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002) framework to model the nesting of multiple teachers per center. Firstly, an unconditional model for each dependent variable was created. All variables were group-mean centered at Level 1 and grand-mean centered at Level 2, accounting for both Level-1 and Level-2 variance within the same variable. Sample weights were used; thus results are nationally representative.


Intraclass correlations (ICCs) were significant for all dependent variables (depression, job dissatisfaction, perception of center climate, and perception of support for handling child behavior; see Table 2). Thus some portion of the variance (12% to 37%) in each outcome can be explained by a teacher’s center membership. Final models showed teachers were less depressed in centers with more SESs. Teachers reported less job dissatisfaction if they perceived children’s behavior more positively (Level 1) and if centers implemented more SESs (Level 2). Centers’ implementation of SESs explains variance in teachers’ perceptions of climate between (Level 2) and within centers (Level 1). Interestingly teachers’ perceptions of supports for handling child behavior were not associated with perceptions of child behavior (Level 1), but were positively explained by SESs in centers. This variance was explained at Level 1 and Level 2 of the model. Finally, teacher perception of support was negatively associated with number of lead teachers.


Centers’ implementation of social-emotional supports is associated with lower teacher depression and job dissatisfaction, and improvements teachers’ perceptions of center climate and of student behavior. To retain and support quality early-childhood educators, centers must establish systems to support both teachers’ and students’ social-emotional well-being.

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