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A longitudinal study of occupational stressors and depressive symptoms in first-year female teachers.

Schonfeld IS
Teach Teach Educ 1992; 8(2):151-158
An epidemiological study was conducted of occupational stress among school teachers concentrating on first year or newly appointed school teachers as an indicator of stress on teachers in general. The study group included 255 women who were newly appointed teachers in the fall following graduation. The average age was 28 years. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies, Depression Scale. Two measures of the adversity of the school environment were developed: the Episodic Stressor Scale and the Strain Scale. The former was created by computing the teacher's mean score on items assessing the frequency with which he or she encountered episodically occurring stressors such as the threat of personal injury, confrontation initiated by an insolent student, or episodes of vandalism. The Strain Scale measured the teacher's mean score on items which were ongoing stressors such as overcrowded classroom, unmotivated students, or the tendency of administrators not to enforce rules against disruptive pupils. The study results indicated that the women working in the most adverse school environments showed the most depressive symptoms. Adverse school conditions may have detrimental effects on mental health. The effect of school conditions on symptoms was quite sizable when other risk factors were controlled. The analysis indicated that the causal paths from the school environment to symptoms dominated the paths from symptoms to the environment. These findings were consistent with life stress research which indicates that events demonstrating to the individual a strong sense of personal disappointment and thwarted goals are related to elevated risk for clinical depression.
NIOSH-Grant; Psychological-disorders; Psychological-factors; Job-stress; Mental-stress; Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Teaching; Education
Social and Psychological Fdns the City College of Cuny Convent Avenue at 138Th St New York, New York 10031
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
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Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Psychologic Disorders; Psychological-disorders
Source Name
Teaching and Teacher Education
Performing Organization
City College of New York, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
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