Hardiness and humour predicting burnout in a sample of special needs assistants in Saplings schools

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Fogarty, Rebecca
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study examined the relationships between hardiness and humour in the prediction of burnout within a sample of special needs assistants working with autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs in Saplings Schools. A quantitative, cross-sectional, between-subjects design was used. Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, Dispositional Resilience Scale and Richmond Humour scale self-report questionnaires were distributed to Saplings SNA’s (N=60). Psychological hardiness significantly predicted client burnout but humour was not found to significantly predict client burnout. Gender, age, level of training and years of service were also examined but yielded no significant results. The implications of these findings include a recommendation for hardiness training in the future to increase levels of hardiness among Saplings SNA’s and a review of the current role of a Saplings SNA by the Department of Education and Skills. Findings also suggest a need for the National Council for Special Education.to update their duty of care policy.