The effects of school systems, teacher internal characteristics, and students on vocational teacher stress

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Virginia Tech


Job stress is a multidimensional phenomenon. The researcher sought to examine variables that cause vocational teachers to experience stress in their teaching occupations and to evaluate the effects of these related stressors.

This research evaluated the relationships between school systems and vocational teacher stress, teacher internal characteristics and vocational teacher stress, and students and vocational teacher stress. It also analyzed vocational teacher stress using a proposed causal model that was developed using the literature on teacher stress as a conceptual framework. The model attempted to examine the linkages that exist among vocational teacher stress, school systems, teacher internal characteristics, and students.

Role ambiguity, role conflict, school stress, task stress, supervisory support, nonparticipation, peer support, role overload, and management style were the areas identified in the literature that could be used as indicators of the school systems category. Role preparedness, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, illness symptoms, locus of control, and self esteem were the concepts identified in the literature that could be used as the variables associated with teacher internal characteristics. Class size, student learning, and student behavior were the three areas identified in the literature as student related variables.

This study measured vocational teacher stress using the Tennessee Stress Scale-R. It measured the identified stressors using four other instruments: 1) Teacher Stress Measure; 2) Personal Behavior Inventory; 3) Self Esteem Scale; and 4) Classroom Environment Scale. In addition to these measures, demographic information was collected from the respondents.

The study was limited to two separate samples of vocational teachers employed in Virginia. The first sample consisted of vocational teachers teaching in five targeted school systems. The second sample of vocational teachers used in this study were randomly selected from state supplied lists. An overall response rate of 65 percent was obtained.

Multiple regression and LISREL were used to evaluate the effects of the identified stressors on vocational teacher stress. The three regression models were found to be significant at the .05 level. The LISREL model was found to be successful in explaining approximately 72 percent of the variance in the stress experienced by vocational teachers. Two-sample t-tests were used to compare the two samples of teachers represented in the study. Non-respondent follow-up analyses also were conducted. No significant differences were found.



role ambiguity, role conflict, job stress