Personality and emotional intelligence in teacher burnout.
Moreover, some other studies have investigated the causes of burnout. Maslach and Leiter (1997) described workload, lack of control, reward, community, fairness, and values as sources of burnout. Schaufeli and Enzmann (1998), mentioning variables such as age, marital status, and personality types as causes of burnout, have shown that younger employees show higher level of burnout than those aged over 30 or 40 years, or unmarried people are more prone to burnout than those who are married. They have also studied several personality traits to discover which types of people might be at greater risk for experiencing burnout. They have found that there is a high level of burnout among people with low self esteem, an external locus of control, and low level of hardiness. In the same vein, Ghazinour, Richter, Emami, and Eisemann (2003) have found that personality traits such as introversion, neuroticism, perfectionism, and low self-esteem are highly in association with job stress. In another study, Zellars, Hochwarter, Perrewe, Hoffman, and Ford, (2004) have also shown that among nurses, components of burnout such as extraversion significantly predicts the diminished accomplishment, and neuroticism significantly predicts the exhaustion and depersonalization. Zeng and Shi (2006) have found that agreeableness and emotional stability are effective predictors of emotional exhaustion among employees. Moreover, in a study on call center employees Lamb (2009) has indicated that contentiousness and agreeableness are valid predictors of personal accomplishment and contentiousness is the best predictor of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization dimensions of burnout.
In the educational area, burnout has been considered by many researchers as a key area that needs to be addressed more adequately (e.g. Evers, Tomic, & Brouwers, 2005; Hakanen, Bakker, & Schaufeli, 2006). To this end, many studies have been done to detect the sources of burnout within the teaching profession. For example: age, gender, years of experience, level of education (Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Ozkanal, 2010); classroom environment (Dorman, 2003); decreased parent involvement, low physical activity (Colangelo, 2004), teacher's attitudes towards perceived stressors (Rodriguez, 2006), and personality traits (Schaufeli, 2003) have been found to influence teacher burnout.
One of the areas which seem to be directly related to teacher burnout is personality. As regards to this aspect, few studies (Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, & Carrasco-Ortiz, 2005; Fontana & Abouserie, 1993; Mills & Huebner, 1998) have been conducted, which justify the need to do more research in this area. Fontana and Abouserie (1993), using Esyenck model (Eysenck & Eusenck, 1985) have reported high correlation between burnout and high scores in neuroticism, introversion, and psychoticism, respectively. In another study, Mills and Heubner (1998), employing the Big Five Models (Costa & McCrae, 1999) have shown that neuroticism and introversion are in association with burnout. Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, and Carrasco-Ortiz (2005) have examined the role of personality and contextual variables in teacher burnout. Using a self-applied interview, Spanish adaptation of the reduced version of the Big Five Models (Costa & McCrae, 1999), they have shown that extroversion and neuroticism correlate with burnout.
As regards to the relationship between emotional intelligence and burnout, there seems to be a paucity of research. Chang (2009) highlighting the importance of examining the relationship between the emotional aspects of teachers" lives and burnout, has suggested more research to be done in this area. Duran, Extremera, and Rey (2004), using the Trait Meta-Mood Scale showed that Emotional Clarity was significantly associated with Personal Accomplishment and Repair to moods was significantly correlated with Personal Accomplishment. Palser (2005), using Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), has reported significant correlations between emotional exhaustion and sense of personal achievement of the burnout and facilitating emotional thought and understanding emotions of the MSCEIT. Chan (2006) examining the relationship between emotional intelligence (emotional appraisal, positive regulation, empathic sensitivity, and positive utilization) and three components of teacher burnout, has hypothesized that emotional exhaustion is influenced by emotional appraisal and positive regulation was causally prior to depersonalization and personal accomplishment, but personal accomplishment could develop relatively independently from the burnout components through the influence of positive utilization of emotions. As the review of literature reveals burnout is highly tied to emotional factors. This is why, we hypothesize that burnout can be related to emotional intelligence competencies such as intrapersonal or stress management.
Therefore, due to the importance of personality structure and emotional factors in the disposition to burnout and due to the dearth of research in this domain, we have attempted to find the relationship between personality types and emotional intelligence and burnout in order to widen and enrich our understanding of the factors influencing teacher burnout.
In this paper, we have considered three goals. Firstly, we have examined the relationship between burnout and personality among a group of teachers. Secondly, we aim at describing the association between the teacher burnout level and emotional intelligence competencies. And finally, we have attempted to predict teacher burnout level from the combination of personality and emotional intelligence. In fact, the overall purpose of this study is to clarify the roles different factors play in teacher burnout, taking into account that previous studies have obtained discrepancies in the results of the association between burnout and personality and have not given any attention to emotional intelligence competencies as potential predictors of teacher burnout.
The total population participating in this study included 147 English language teachers of some Private English language schools of Mashhad, a city in Iran. The reason that we have selected teachers from private language schools and not public schools is that teachers in public schools are permanently employed in Iran, not having any fear of losing their jobs, but teachers in private language schools are temporality employed. Therefore, they are under constant pressure from their employers and parents to be more effective and innovative. Moreover, since education in public schools is free of charge, there is no competition between these schools to attract more students, while there is a tough competition between private language schools to take more students. In addition, system of education is centralized in Iran's public schools; all decisions are made by the government, teachers just do and teach the books and the materials provided by the authorities in charge, while system of education in private language schools is decentralized; teachers have more options and freedom to select their own materials. This sample formed 50% of the population of the Private English language schools. There were 94 females and 53 males and the overall mean age was 31.2 (SD = 9.2). Twenty teachers held M.A degree and the rest held B.A. degree. Their experience in teaching ranged from 3 up to 14 years. The length of workweek ranged between 5 to 30 h per week, with a mean of 24 h per week. These work hours only include the instruction hours, and except for 7 teachers who had part-time jobs, the rest of the teachers worked full-time.
Three instruments were used to collect the data: Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), NEO- Five Factor Inventory (Neo-FFI), and Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I). In order to measure the participants' level of burnout, we have used the Persian adaptation of MBI (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). The Persian adaptation of MBI has displayed accurate indexes of reliability and validity (Badri & Gargari, 1995). It has presented Cronbach's Alpha reliability coefficients from 0.74 to 0.84 and a factorial structure congruent with the original version. In this study, the Conbach's Alpha reliability coefficients ranged from 0.81 to 0.92. The inventory includes 22 items which are measured with the use of three subscales: Emotional exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal accomplishment. The items are scored in two ways: according to the frequency in which the items are scored on a 7- point frequency scale ranging from (0) "never" to (6) "everyday". Respondents should use this 7-point scale to fill out the inventory. The second way is according to the intensity in which the items are scored on an 8 point scale ranging from (0) "none" to (8) "very much". The greater values in both frequency model and intensity model show that the respondents experience the particular feeling. In this study, the first model (frequency model) was used, because Maslach and Jackson (1981) suggested the frequency model as the best (see Appendix A).
To measure personality, the Persian adaptation of NEO Five Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1999) was used. The reliability and validity of this inventory were also examined in Iran by Garousi, Mehryar, and Ghazi Tabatabayi (2001). Cronbach's Alpha coefficients were between 0.66 and 0.87 and the inventory was validated through criterion-related validity with coefficients between 0.65 and 0.76. In this study, the Conbach's Alpha reliability coefficients ranged from 0.72 to 0.86. The inventory consists of 60 items that are scored according to the Likert- type scale of five points. These inventory measures five factors of personality: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness (see Appendix B).
For measuring emotional intelligence, the Persian adaptation of Bar-On-EQ-I (Bar-On, 1997) was used, the short form of which was lately published as a 90 item questionnaire. Samouee (2002) has examined the reliability and validity of the Persian version of the questionnaire. Conbach's Alpha exhibited a high reliability equal to 0.957 and its validity was substantiated through factor analysis. In our study, Conbach's Alpha reliability coefficients ranged from 0.89 to 0.92. This inventory has five scales: (a) Intrapersonal, (b) Adaptability, (c) General Mood, (d) Interpersonal, (e) Stress Management. This questionnaire is scored according to a Likert-type scale of five points (see Appendix C).
The data collection started in August 2009 and finished in March, 2010. The instruments were distributed among 147 English language teachers of some Private English language schools of Mashhad. The inventories were administered to them and they were asked to fill out the inventories. The fundamental statistics in the current study were Homogeneity Analysis and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis. To examine the relationship between burnout, personality and emotional intelligence, we used Homogeneity Analysis. Homogeneity analysis may also be understood as a Multiple Correspondence Analysis or as a Principle-Components Analysis for nominal data. According to Michailidis and De Leeuw (2005), Homogeneity Analysis is a graphical method for analyzing categorical data. It is a general and flexible framework that can accommodate multiple types of data. This was the reason why we chose this method of analysis. In this type analysis, objects related to each other are represented close to each other, while the ones which are irrelevant are represented far away from one another. To better understand this technique, it should be emphasized that it is a principal components analysis (factor analysis) of qualitative data. One of the main ideas of factor analysis is that different variables measuring the same thing are represented by a unique scale, which is called a factor. These factors are named and labeled later by the researcher. Exactly the same procedure is followed in Homogeneity Analysis. This technique maps different variables into a space in such a way that objects with similar profiles are close together. Based on the graphical representation of data, this technique uncovers and visualizes the dominant and most salient relationships and patterns in a multivariate data structure. In fact, objects belonging to the same category are mapped to the same location, and the researcher, then is expected to group and analyze these graphical representations.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
In sum, the major goal of Homogeneity Analysis is to describe the relationships between two or more nominal variables. To do the Homogeneity Analysis, it was necessary to recodify the NEO-FFI, MBI and EQ scoring. Thus, low scores (up to percentile 33), medium scores (from percentiles 33 up to 66), and high scores (percentiles 66 and higher) were achieved. Moreover, we used The Multiple Linear Regression Analysis with a Stepwise Method to detect the best predictors in teacher burnout in terms of personality and emotional intelligence scores.
Personality and Burnout
Figure 1 shows the graphic representation of the Homogeneity Analysis using the scores in burnout dimensions and in personality structure. In this model, three dependent variables (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishments) which are dimensions of burnout are examined with five factors of personality (Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Consciousness). The Cronbach's Alpha for this model was equal to 0.88, which shows a high reliability. The analysis presented a 62% level of adjustment, which reveals the accuracy of mapping, thus emphasizing five groupings. They are named from Group A up to Group E. According to Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, and Carrasco-Ortiz (2005), grouping will make the interpretation easier. Group A represents teachers with high scores in emotional exhaustion, and low scores in personal accomplishment in association with high scores in neuroticism and with low scores in extroversion. Group B stands for teachers with high scores in depersonalization in association with low scores in agreeableness and conscientiousness. Group C represents teachers with intermediate scores in the five factors of personality structure, which are associated with intermediate scores in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. They are also associated with low scores in emotional exhaustion. Group D stands for teachers with the highest scores in personal accomplishment are those who presented the lowest scores in neuroticism. Group E stands for teachers with low scores in depersonalization in association with high scores in agreeableness, conscientiousness and to a lesser degree with high scores in openness.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Emotional Intelligence and Burnout
Figure 2 shows the graphic representation of the Homogeneity Analysis using the scores in emotional intelligence and in burnout dimensions. In this model, three dependent variables (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishments) which are dimensions of burnout are examined with five subscales of emotional intelligence (Adaptability, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, General Mood and Stress Management) and also with the total emotional intelligence. The Cronbach's Alpha for this model was equal to 0.93.
The analysis revealed an 81% level of adjustment. Here three groups have been highlighted. They are named from Group A up to Group C to make the interpretation easier. Group A stands for teachers with high scores in personal accomplishment and low scores in emotional exhaustion in association with high scores in stress management, general mood, intrapersonal competency, adaptability and also with high scores in total EQ. Group B represents teachers with intermediate scores in three dimensions of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment), which are associated with intermediate scores in stress management, adaptability, general mood, intrapersonal competency, interpersonal competency and total EQ. Group C represents teachers with high scores in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and low scores in personal accomplishment in association with low scores in adaptability, stress management, intrapersonal competency, general mood, total EQ and interpersonal competency.
Burnout in Terms of Personality and Emotional Intelligence
In the following section, we present a summary of the results obtained by Multiple Regression Analysis using personality types and emotional intelligence as predictors of the three dimensions of burnout.
Prediction of Emotional Exhaustion
The model summary output in Table 1 shows that there are two models: Model 1 (in the first row) and Model 2 (in the second row). This indicates that, first a model with neuroticism as a predictor was tested, and then another predictor was added and model 2 was tested.
In the first model, it can be seen that the adjusted [R.sup.2] equals .435. It means that in this regression model, almost 43% of the variance can be predicted from the independent variable. The scores of neuroticism can account for 43% of the variance in emotional exhaustion, so it can be a predictor of emotional exhaustion. Moreover, the standard error of estimate shows the accuracy of a prediction model. The smaller the standard error of estimate, the better the prediction will be. The standard error of estimate is 1.012, which is an acceptable value. Beta coefficients also show that the relationship between neuroticism and emotional exhaustion is positive and significant (B = .345, p < .05).
As it can be seen in Table 1, due to the increase in the adjusted [R.sup.2] value from .43 to .53, Model 2 is a better predictor than Model 1. These results indicate that the first and the second variable together (i.e. neuroticism and extraversion) can account for 53% of the variance in emotional exhaustion. It can also be interpreted that the addition of extraversion significantly improved prediction, explaining almost 10% additional variance. Moreover, the standard error of estimate for this model is 1.651, which is a small number and the accuracy of its prediction can be great. Beta coefficients also reveal that there is a significant positive relationship between neuroticism and emotional exhaustion (B = .272, p < .05), and the relationship between extraversion and neuroticism is negative (B = -.123, p < .05). It means having a high neuroticism and a low extroversion are the best predictors of high scores in emotional exhaustion. Other variables added nothing unique to this prediction.
Prediction of Depersonalization
As Table 2 indicates, there are two models: Model 1 (intrapersonal) and Model 2 (intrapersonal competency + agreeableness).
In the first model, it can be seen that the adjusted [R.sup.2] equals .346. It means that in this regression model, the scores of intrapersonal scale can account for almost 34 % of the variance in depersonalization. Besides, the standard error of estimate is low (1.551) which shows that the high accuracy of its prediction. B coefficient also shows that there is a negative and significant relationship between depersonalization and intrapersonal competency (B = -.235, p < .05).
In the second model, which is a better predictor than the first model, the adjusted [R.sup.2] has increased from .346 to .455. This also means that intrapersonal competency and agreeableness together can account for 45% of the variance in depersonalization. Moreover, the standard error of estimates for this model is 1.482 which is a small number and can be valuable in prediction. B results reveal a negative and significant relation between depersonalization and intrapersonal competency (B = -.225, p < .05), and depersonalization and agreeableness (B = -.233, p < .05). Therefore, having a low intrapersonal competency and agreeableness are the best predictors of high scores in depersonalization. Adding other variables to the model did not improve the level of prediction.
Prediction of Personal Accomplishment
As for personal accomplishment, Table 3 demonstrates that there are two models: Model 1(interpersonal), and Model 2 (interpersonal + conscientiousness).
In the first model, it can be seen that the adjusted [R.sup.2] equals .268. It means that in this regression model, the scores of interpersonal scale can account for almost 26% of the variance in personal accomplishment. The standard error of estimate is 1.791, warranting the accuracy of its prediction. Moreover, the relationship between personal accomplishment and interpersonal competency is positive (B = .411, p < .05).
In the second model, the adjusted [R.sup.2] is .390. This means that interpersonal competency and conscientiousness together can account for 39% of the variance in personal accomplishment. In addition, the standard error of estimate for this model is 1.535, which is a small number. B coefficients also reveal that there are significant relationships between personal accomplishment and interpersonal competency (B = .433, p < .05), and personal accomplishment and conscientiousness (B = .391, p < .05). Therefore, having a high interpersonal competency and conscientiousness are the best predictors of high scores in personal accomplishment.
The three goals put forward by this study were, in the first place, to verify the association between personality types and teacher burnout, and in the second place, to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and burnout and finally, to highlight the most predictive combinations for both types of variables. With regard to the first goal, we may conclude that personality structures are related to burnout, thus agreeing with the outcomes in other studies (Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, & Carrasco-Ortiz, 2005; Fontana & Abousaarie, 1993). As it was shown, the highest scores in emotional exhaustion and low scores in personal accomplishment were in association with high scores in neuroticism and low scores in extroversion. These results are similar to those obtained in other studies (Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, & Carrasco-Ortiz, 2005; Fontana & Abousaarie, 1993). Neurotic people generally are worrying, anxious, insecure, bad tempered, depressed, and moody; therefore, they become more vulnerable to burnout. Those people who are less extrovert, are passive, quiet, restrained, and with less disposition towards positive emotionality (Dornyei, 2005; Whalen & Gates, 2007). All of these characteristics foster emotional exhaustion while diminish personal accomplishment (Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, & Carrasco-Ortiz, 2005).
In our study, high scores in depersonalization are associated with low scores in agreeableness and conscientiousness. This finding is similar to that obtained by Fontana and Abousaarie (1993) and Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, and Carrasco-Ortiz (2005). A person, who is not agreeable, according to Dornyei, (2005), is cold, cynical, rude, unpleasant, critical, antagonistic, suspicious, vengeful, irritable and uncooperative, and those who have low scores in conscientiousness are unreliable, aimless, careless, disorganized, late, lazy, negligent, and weak-willed. All these features imply that teachers who are not agreeable or conscientious are depersonalized or they are more susceptible to be depersonalized. Moreover, high scores in openness were in association with low scores in depersonalization. This outcome is in sharp contrast with that of Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, and Carrasco-Ortiz (2005). Those teachers who are more receptive to new experiences are more challenging and exhibit a low level of depersonalization. Nevertheless, the results of the study showed that all medium scores in the personality structure were in association with all dimensions of burnout. Though associations were produced in the predicted orientation, we expected even higher scores in these elements. This finding supports Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, and Carrasco-Ortiz (2005) claims that all scales of personality structure are useful in the description of teacher burnout.
With regard to emotional intelligence, our hypothesis seems to be confirmed. As the results were exhibited, low scores in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and high scores in personal accomplishment were in association with total EQ. According to Mortiboys (2005), teachers with high EQ can recognize their students" emotions, develop positive attitudes towards them, and feel they are competent to help their learners. Therefore, it is fair to say that they are less susceptible to emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. This finding also supports Chang's claims (2009) that teachers need a variety of emotional resources to avoid burnout. As it was shown in this study, almost all constructs of emotional intelligence: stress management, adaptability, general mood, intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies were related to all three parts of burnout. As it was mentioned earlier, teacher burnout is the result of ongoing teacher stress (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). Therefore, a teacher who knows how to manage and control the stressors will not be in danger of burnout. Of course, a teacher with high adaptability can adjust oneself to working situations and apply helpful solutions so easily. Such a person is not vulnerable to depersonalization or emotional exhaustion. And also, people with high general mood are happy and optimistic; these two features can pave the way for more personal accomplishments in life. Intrapersonal competency includes emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, self-regard, self-actualization and independence (Bar-On, 1997). And, interpersonal competency is related to empathy and social responsibility. All these features can help teachers to raise their feelings of personal accomplishment, making them less susceptible to depersonalization or emotional exhaustion.
As regards the third objective, we can come up with the conclusion that personality and emotional intelligence can significantly predict teacher burnout. The best prediction of high scores in emotional exhaustion was produced by high scores in neuroticism and low scores in extroversion. This finding is to some extent similar to other studies (Cano-Garcia, Padilla-Munoz, & Carrasco-Ortiz, 2005; Costa & McCrae, 1999). It is interesting that emotional intelligence did not exhibit strong predictive power for emotional exhaustion and personality alone accounted for more exact prediction. As it was already mentioned, neuroticism and introversion are highly related to the nature of emotional exhaustion and maybe that is why, they have been the first and second in importance. The best prediction of high scores in depersonalization was based on low scores in intrapersonal competency and agreeableness. Low scores in intrapersonal competency imply lack of emotional self-awareness and low scores in agreeableness are representative of a distrustful attitude, both easily transferable into dehumanized handling that is implied by depersonalization. Moreover, the best prediction of high scores in personal achievement was based on low scores in interpersonal competency and consciousness. Interpersonal competency relates to social relationship and consciousness deals with involvement and fulfillment of rules. All these aspects are very relevant in holding a job, and can lead to a greater personal accomplishment.
In the end, it is recommended that research into teacher burnout go deep into personality and emotional variables. A replication of this study with a large sample can help us to have a solid understanding of the relationship between personality, emotional intelligence and burnout. Besides, studies with a longitudinal design can shed more light on the dark facets of teacher burnout.
Appendix A. Sample items of Maslach Burnout Inventory
Emotional exhaustion: I feel emotionally drained from my work. Depersonalization: I feel I treat some recipients as if they were impersonal objects. Personal accomplishment: In my work, I deal with emotional problems very calmly.
Appendix B. Sample items of NEO Five Factor
Neuroticism: At times, I had been so ashamed I just wanted to hide. Extraversion: I like to have a lot of people around me. Agreeableness: I try to be courteous to everyone I meet. Conscientiousness: I've worked hard to accomplish my goals. Openness to experience: I often try new and foreign foods.
Appendix C. Sample items of Bar-On-EQ-i
Intrapersonal: It's hard for me to understand the way I feel. Adaptability: It's difficult for me to change my opinion about things. General Mood: It's hard for me to enjoy life. Interpersonal: People think that I'm sociable. Stress Management: I feel that it's hard for me to control my anxiety.
Received August 28, 2010
Revision received February 9, 2011
Accepted May 3, 2011
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Reza Pishghadam and Samaneh Sahebjam
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (Iran)
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Reza Pishghadam. E-mail: email@example.com
Table 1 Model summary of regression analysis for emotional exhaustion Adjusted Std. Error of Model R [R.sup.2] the Estimate B Sig. 1 .729 (a) .435 1.012 .345 .001 2 .866 (b) .539 1.651 .272 (Neuro.) .001 -.123 (Extra.) (a.) Predictors: (Constant), Neuroticism (b.) Predictors: (Constant), Neuroticism, Extraversion (c.) Dependent Variable: Emotional exhaustion Table 2 Model summary of regression analysis for depersonalization Adjusted Std. Error of Model R [R.sup.2] the Estimate B Sig. 1 .445 (a) 0.346 1.551 -.235 .001 2 .556 (b) 0.455 1.482 -.225 (Intra.) .001 -.233 (Agree.) (a.) Predictors: (Constant), Intrapersonal competency (b.) Predictors: (Constant), Intrapersonal competency, Agreeableness (c.) Dependent Variable: Depersonalization Table 3 Model summary of regression analysis for personal accomplishment Adjusted Std. Error of Model R [R.sup.2] the Estimate B Sig. 1 .487 (a) .268 1.791 .411 .001 2 .578 (b) .390 1.535 .433 (Inter.) .001 .391 (Cons.) (a.) Predictors: (Constant), Intrapersonal competency (b.) Predictors: (Constant), Interpersonal competency, Conscientiousness (c.) Dependent Variable: Personal accomplishment
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|Title Annotation:||articulo en ingles; sindrome del profesor quemado|
|Author:||Pishghadam, Reza; Sahebjam, Samaneh|
|Publication:||Spanish Journal of Psychology|
|Date:||May 1, 2012|
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