CAREER RESILIENCE AND CONTINUING SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CAREER RESILIENCE SCALE
Sotomayor, Arden Elaine
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The purpose of this study was to develop and field test the Special Education Career Resilience Scale (SECRS) as an instrument to assess the career resilience of special education teachers. Four scales, two measuring resilience, one measuring coping behaviors, and one measuring perceived administrative support, were used to comprise the SECRS in an attempt to construct a survey with items that would reflect the four domains of the Career Resiliency Framework (i.e. Theme Acceptance, Support for Self-Awareness, Conversion, and Connectedness). Cognitive interviews, expert opinion, and pilot testing were all used during the initial stages of development. The final version of the SECRS was field tested with a sample of 567 continuing and non-continuing special education teachers from suburban and rural school systems. Exploratory factor analysis revealed that an interpretable factor structure could not be derived. Subsequent analysis of each subscale that comprised the SECRS resulted in the derivation of a 2-factor simple structure for the Theme Acceptance subscale only. Analyses of individual item scores between continuing and non-continuing special educators revealed statistically significant differences in the latent construct of career resilience for two items (TA2 and SSA1), and for one item (SSA17) when disability type was considered. A significant main effect for both teaching status and disability type was found for the Theme Acceptance subscale between the non-continuing/low incidence group and all other groups (i.e. the continuing/low incidence group, continuing/ high incidence group, and non-continuing/high incidence group). These results are discussed in light of the limitations of the study and areas for further research are suggested.