Understanding Teachers’ Emotion, Emotion Regulation, and Their Effects on Teacher Efficacy: A Real-world Enquiry of Secondary School Teachers in Hong Kong


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Awarding Institution
Award date14 Dec 2017


According to Bandura’s (1997) model of self-efficacy formation, teacher efficacy is likely to be developed from teachers’ emotional states. The impact of teachers’ emotions may be changed by cognitive processes like emotion regulation. Extensive research has shown that teacher emotion and teacher emotion regulation are related to teacher efficacy. Nevertheless, very few studies have examined how the interrelationship between them affects teacher efficacy. In view of the lack of culturally appropriate measures of teacher emotion and teacher emotion regulation in Hong Kong, which prevents addressing the above research gap, the present investigation aimed at exploring emotions commonly experienced in teaching and emotion regulation strategies typically used by Hong Kong teachers first. Then they were operationalizd in a conceptually meaningful and psychometrically sound way. Afterwards, the intervening roles of teacher emotion regulation in the relationship between teacher emotion and teacher efficacy and the real-world effect of the combination of teacher emotion and teacher emotion regulation on teacher efficacy were examined.

Three studies were conducted in the present investigation. Using qualitative, semi-structured interviews (N=18) in Study 1, 62 emotions felt in teaching and 56 emotion regulation strategies used by Hong Kong secondary school teachers were identified. They were conceptually mapped with Larsen and Diener’s (1992) circumplex model of emotion and Gross’s (1998a) process model of emotion regulation, respectively. Employing a cross-sectional study (N=447) in Study 2, a five-dimensional model of teacher emotion and a six-dimensional model of teacher emotion regulation were found by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Simultaneously, Teacher Emotions in Teaching Scale and Teacher Emotion Regulation Inventory were developed and validated. Subsequent moderation analysis revealed beneficial effects of two emotion regulation strategies, namely positive refocusing and reappraisal as well as emotional suppression and faking, on the teacher emotion - teacher efficacy relation. However, emotion regulation strategies such as teaching improvement and emotional readiness for teaching produced contradictory results. Mediation analysis revealed that emotion regulation strategies such as positive refocusing and reappraisal, teaching improvement, and emotional readiness for teaching were main mediators in the paths from teacher emotion to teacher efficacy. In Study 3, a quasi-experiment which aimed at comparing the intervention groups (N=140) with the wait-list control groups (N=121) was conducted. It showed that intervention groups had significantly higher total teacher efficacy than control groups after controlling for the baseline measures. It indicated the effects of two salient teachers’ emotions (activated pleasant and pleasant emotion, boredom and demotivation) and one emotion regulation strategy (positive refocusing and reappraisal) on teacher efficacy in the real-world setting. Moreover, the construct validity of two indigenous measures developed in Study 2 were reaffirmed with another sample. Theoretical and practical implications of the above findings were discussed alongside limitations and directions for future research.