Coping with job-related stress: the case of teachers.
J Occup Psychol 1990 Jun; 63:141-149
A study of how teachers cope with job related stress was conducted. The study group consisted of 67 experienced New York City school teachers, 38 females, average age 41.2 years. Fifteen subjects were nonwhite. Thirty eight were secondary school teachers, 20 elementary school teachers, and five taught in early childhood centers. The average teaching experience was 13.2 years. The subjects completed a questionnaire package to obtain information on demographic characteristics and to rate health and morale, perceived job stressors, colleague support, and coping. Job stressors such as overcrowded classrooms, under prepared students attending class, and jeopardy of involuntary transfer were more consistently related to psychophysiological symptoms and morale variables than stressors related to crimes and episodic events. Advice seeking, positive comparisons, selective ignoring, enforcing discipline, and taking positive action were the most frequently used coping strategies. Advice seeking and direct action were significantly correlated with decreased depression and psychophysiological symptoms. Positive comparisons and direct action were significantly correlated with job satisfaction and motivation to continue in teaching. Selective ignoring significantly interacted with environment and psychophysiological symptoms. The author concludes that teachers utilize advice seeking, direct action, positive comparisons, and discipline to cope with job stress. Selective ignoring appears to buffer the impact of adverse job environments on symptoms. Schools may be less impersonally organized than other work settings making it possible to alleviate stress and enhance job satisfaction.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Psychological-disorders; Job-stress; Education; Questionnaires; Coping-behavior; Work-environment; Psychophysiology
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Journal of Occupational Psychology
City College of New York, New York, New York