Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

August 1981

Abstract

The problem of this study was to determine the prevalence and certain sources of stress among elementary school teachers (grades kindergarten through six), and the relationship of stress to certain selected teacher factors. This study followed the ex post facto design which attempted to determine if certain teacher factors affected the way in which teachers responded to the questionnaire regarding the prevalence and sources of stress perceived. The Teacher Stress Questionnaire was selected to assess the prevalence and certain sources of stress of elementary teachers regarding sex, age, length of time in the teaching profession, length of time in the present teaching position, number of years of formal preparation for the teaching profession, the grade level taught, length of time since taking course work, amount of professional reading accomplished per week, number of hours spent working on school items outside of school hours, and the number of days absent due to illness in the preceding school year. The differences showing significance in the study supported the following conclusions. (1) Rural teachers experienced more stress and different sources of stress than urban teachers in the surveyed geographical area. (2) Grades taught and teaching experience did not appear to be significant factors in the amount or sources of stress reported by teachers. (3) Gender did not appear to be a factor in the amount of stress reported by teachers. However, female teachers tended to perceive one source of stress, time pressures, as more stressful than male teachers. (4) Age did not appear to be a factor in the amount of stress reported by teachers. However, teachers, ages thirty and above, reported Category B, poor working conditions, as more stressful than younger teachers. (5) Professional preparation for the teaching profession and the length of time in the present position did not appear to be significant factors in the amount or sources of stress reported by elementary teachers. (6) The number of hours spent working on school items outside of school hours and the length of time since taking course work did not appear to be significant factors in the amount of stress reported by elementary teachers. (7) The teachers who did more professional reading per week reported significantly less stress than those teachers who accomplished zero through one hour of professional reading per week. (8) Teachers with higher absenteeism due to illness reported more stress than those teachers with lower absenteeism due to illness. (9) Teachers exhibited frequency of physical and mental symptoms of stress comparable to the amount of stress reported. Elementary teachers in the urban and rural areas are experiencing stress in the teaching environment. Urban and rural teachers in the surveyed geographical area do report differences in the amounts and sources of stress. Certain teacher characteristics, such as the amount of professional reading accomplished per week and higher absenteeism due to illness, make a difference in the amount of stress reported by elementary teachers. Teachers also are exhibiting some mental and physical symptoms of stress.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

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