Is Familism Motivation or Pressure? Relationships of Confucian Familism, Emotional Labor, Work–Family Conflict and Emotional Exhaustion among Chinese Teachers
Professor Guoxiu Tian, College of Teacher Education, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China
Dr. Xiaoshuang Zhu, College of Teacher Education, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China
Dr. Jing Xiao, College of Teacher Education, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China
Chinese teachers are deeply influenced by Confucian familism, stressing the obligation of family members to work hard to support each other for better family centrality. This study, with 3312 teachers in China as research participants, examines how Confucian familism influences teachers’ emotional exhaustion (EE). It reveals that emotional labor (EL) and work–family conflict (WFC) play as two sequential mediators between familism and EE. Teachers’ EL strategies, including surface acting (SA), deep acting (DA) and expression of naturally felt emotions (ENFE) impacts on WFC which eventually leads to EE. The study further indicates that Confucian familism plays a dual role in teachers’ work. On one hand, Confucian familism seems to motivate teachers in terms of their less use of SA, but more of DA and ENFE strategies. On the other hand, the emphasis on family tends to pressurize teachers with more WFC which consequentially aggravates EE.
Figure 1. The relationships between familism, EL (SA, DA, ENFE), WFC and EE controlling for years of teaching experience (Only showing significant paths).
Confucian familism, emotional labor, work–family conflict, emotional exhaustion, Chinese teachers