UBC Theses and Dissertations
Cognitive differences between high- and low-stress teachers Lisowski, Jaqueline Jean
The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of the influential factors of teacher stress in the special education settings: specifically, some cognitive aspects of the coping process. The importance of the study was summarized in terms of the reported incidence of teacher stress and the need to develop more effective stress intervention and prevention programs. A two-part study was designed to determine the differences in the coping processes of high- and low-stressed teachers in terms of particular cognitive variables. In the first part, high- and low-stressed teachers were differentiated on the basis of the responses of approximately 150 teachers to the Teacher Stress Inventory. In the second part, eleven subjects from each of the low- and high-stressed groups were interviewed. The interviews involved the recollection and report of stressful teaching-related incidents. Teachers were asked to rate each of their incidents in terms of self-evaluation, self-efficacy, outcome evaluation, and incident resolution. As well, they were asked to describe their coping behaviours and to explain what the consequences of the situations meant to them. Statistical and descriptive comparisons were made to determine if there were differences in the responses of the high- and low-stressed teachers. The most significant results of the study were that low-stressed teachers attributed more positive meaning to the consequences of stressful incidents, and that the responses of the low-stressed teachers reflected established philosophies and attitudes. These results have implications for counsellors who are interested in developing intervention and prevention programs and for individuals who conduct teacher-training programs. As well, teachers who feel ineffective at coping with stress are encouraged to seek guidance and to gain awareness of how they contribute to their experience of stress.
Item Citations and Data