Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Lenore S. Brantley

Abstract

Problem. This study explored the relationship between K-12 regular education teachers in school districts with fewer than 2,500 students and their levels of stress as it related to the sources of stress, demographic variables, and initiation of coping strategies.

Method. The subjects of this study were 329 K-12 teachers. They completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory, Education form, a demographic/coping mechanism form, and Stressor Source Check List.

Results. (1) Classroom, building, and community issues affected teachers' attitudes toward their profession:Stress levels, as measured by the MBI, were reflected in their identification of sources of stress in the work environment. (2) A teacher's gender was related to the risk of burnout: Female teachers were less likely to experience burnout than were male teachers. (3) A teacher's marital status was related to the risk of burnout: Both divorced and widowed teachers were less likely to approach levels of burnout than married or single teachers. (4) A teacher's teaching assignment was related to the risk of burnout: Elementary teachers were less likely to experience burnout than were high-school teachers, and junior-high/middle-school teachers were more likely to experience burnout than either of the other two groups. (5) A teacher's years of experience were related to the risk of burnout: Teachers with 6-15 and 16-25 years of teaching experience were less likely to experience burnout than were teachers with 0-5 and 26-plus years of teaching experience.

Conclusions. A small school district effect is suggested by the following deviation from literature citations: (1)The subjects in this study placed less significance on stressor issues related to building concerns. (2) Gender- and stress-related findings suggest an effect related to the sense of belonging associated with working in a small community. (3) A stress pattern related to years of teaching experience was found.

Subject Area

Teachers--Job stress--United States, Job stress--Prevention, Stress management

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