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Mental Health for Mentors: A Study of Burnout in Speech and Debate Coaches for the California High School Speech Association

dc.contributor.authorLampert, Iain Gabriel
dc.description.abstractSpeech and Debate has a burnout problem. While there has been research regarding emotional and physical exhaustion in collegiate Speech coaches and students, studies concerning the high school Speech coaching community have been lacking. Relying primarily on Noddings’s (1992) ethics of care framework and Schaufeli and Enzmann’s (1998) conception of burnout, this mixed-methods study examined the causes, implications, and solutions of burnout in high school Speech and Debate coaches for the California High School Speech Association, a nonprofit organization that hosts Speech and Debate competitions for middle and high school students. This multi-phase project began with qualitative interviews and continued with quantitative survey responses. Its findings focus on how Speech and Debate coaches must balance a wide array of obligations with minimal institutional support, are encouraged to take students to year-round tournaments at the cost of their wellbeing, and, if they stay in the activity, are likelier to experience microaggressive behavior from each other than from students or parents. This study reinforces the complexities of the intersection between equity and exhaustion. For Speech and Debate students to have an optimal experience in a demanding but rewarding activity, the community organizers may consider changing structures that reinforce perverse incentives for their coaches, including shortening the competitive season, designing guidance for ‘quality of life’-oriented roles, and creating a centralized certification system to promote healthier norms.en_US
dc.subjectspeech and debateen_US
dc.titleMental Health for Mentors: A Study of Burnout in Speech and Debate Coaches for the California High School Speech Associationen_US

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