Burnout and Mental Well-Being in Higher Education: Investigating the Impact of Multicultural Efficacy

Chahar Mahali, Saghar
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina

Canadian universities are experiencing a dramatic increase in the enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds. Many educators are not prepared to teach in multicultural contexts. Educators’ lack of preparedness to teach in such contexts may lead them to develop burnout, which can negatively impact their mental and professional well-being. However, self-efficacy beliefs (i.e., judgements of personal capabilities in executing a specific task successfully) may buffer against job burnout and promote mental wellbeing. Hence, multicultural efficacy, defined as the confidence to teach diverse students effectively, is an important factor for teaching in multicultural settings. Limited studies have investigated the impact of colour-blind racial attitudes on university instructors’ multicultural efficacy and the potential role of multicultural efficacy on their burnout and mental well-being. The purpose of this study was to examine the link between multicultural efficacy and colour-blind racial attitudes, and the impact of multicultural efficacy on instructors’ burnout and mental well-being, after controlling for demographics, job-related characteristics, teaching self-efficacy, and colour-blind racial attitudes. One hundred and fifty-eight faculty and sessional instructors at the University of Regina and its federated colleges as well as the Universities of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Colombia participated in this study. The results revealed that multicultural efficacy was negatively related to colour-blind racial attitudes. Furthermore, multicultural efficacy was identified as a significant and positive predictor of Personal Accomplishment facet of burnout and mental well-being. Higher scores on Personal Accomplishment dimension are indicative of lower levels of burnout. These findings can inform the development of training opportunities and diversity-related workshops to enhance instructors’ awareness of diversity, social justice issues, and multicultural efficacy to better equip them for instruction in multicultural classrooms.

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Psychology, University of Regina. viii, 104 p.