Objectives In a context of ageing workforce, this study aimed to evaluate, among teachers, differences of work and general well-being according to years of experience, and to suggest recommendations.
Methods In the population-based postal survey ”Teacher’s Quality of Life” (MGEN Foundation/Ministry of education), 2320 primary and secondary teachers were asked about their well-being at work (professional experience satisfaction, teaching experience evolution over the past five years, three dimensions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory) and general well-being (quality of life, perceived health, four scores of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire). These indicators were analysed in multivariate regression models adjusted on sociodemographic and occupational factors, according to the categories of years of experience:≤5, 6–29,≥30.
Results Compared to more experienced teachers, early-career teachers had less favourable work conditions and a lower environmental health score (−3 points 95%IC=[(−5.1)-(−1.0)]; p=0.005). Senior teachers were more likely than mid-career teachers to judge their work as becoming ”more and more difficult” (OR=2.6 [2.0–3.4], p<0.001). They also tended to show more burnout symptomatology. They were less satisfied with their quality of life (OR=0.7 [0.5–0.9]; p=0.009) and their health (OR=0.7 [0.5–0.9]; p=0.002), especially from a physical and social relationship’s point of view (−5.4 points [(−7.1)-(−3.8)]; p<0.001 and −3.0 points [(−4.8)-(−1.3)]; p=0.001 respectively).
Conclusion This study adds further evidence towards the hypothesis of a decrease in teachers’ well-being at the end of their career, and supports the interest of carrying out targeted support and preventive actions. Attention should also be paid to early-career teachers who may face particularly difficult work conditions.
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