Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Tammy Gillligan

Debi Kips-Vaughan

Cara Meixner

Abstract

There is a concern for the level of stress teachers experience in their jobs. The effects of stress are not only harmful for the individual teacher, but for the teacher’s students and the learning environment as well (Travers & Cooper, 1996). Stress among teachers is related to absenteeism, turnover, and early retirement, which negatively affect the climate of the school and lead to poor student outcomes, both academically and behaviorally. The nature and severity of these concerns highlight the need for programs designed to reduce stress among teachers. A critical first step in partaking in program development efforts is to conduct a needs assessment (Nardi, 2003). The current research attempted to determine if teachers in one rural school system are in need of and receptive to participating in a stress reduction program to address work-related stress. Full-time teachers in grades K-12 were asked to fill out questionnaires related to their stress level and interest in participating in a stress reduction program. The results indicated that there were no differences in teachers’ overall stress levels based on years of experience; however, as teacher experience increases, stress related to student behavior and relationships with parents decreases. In addition, there were no significant differences between the overall stress levels of high school and elementary school teachers; however, high school teachers experience greater stress related to relationships with parents than elementary teachers. Also, the higher teachers’ stress levels, the more interested they are in participating in a stress reduction program. Implications for school psychologists, suggestions and feedback regarding the development of stress reduction programs within the schools, and future research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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