Stress Causing Factors Among Teachers in Elementary Schools and Their Relationship with Demographic and Job Characteristics
Keywords:workplace, stress causing factors, teachers, elementary school, job characteristics
BACKGROUND: Once high levels of work-related stress among teachers were confirmed many studies concentrated on identifying and investigating key stress factors among school teachers. Unfortunately there are very few researches made on stress causing factors among teachers in Republic of Macedonia.
AIM: To determine the most frequent stress causing factors among teachers in elementary schools and to investigate their relationship with demographic and job characteristics.
METHODOLOGY: We performed a descriptive-analytical model of a cross-sectional study which involved 300 teachers employed in nine elementary schools. Evaluation of examined subjects included completion of a specially designed questionnaire.
RESULTS: Among six categories of factors that generate work related stress (job demands, control, relationships, role, changes and support) control and support had the highest mean scores. Within the control category the highest levels of perceived teacherâ€™s work-related stress were caused by the following factors - changes in terms and conditions without consultation and given responsibility without the authority to take decisions. 141 out of the interviewed teachers (47%) have mentioned changes in terms and conditions without consultation as very stressful, while another 50 (16.67%) have reported it as stressful. 123 out of interviewed teachers (41%) have stated given responsibility without the authority to take decisions as very stressful, with another 105 (35%) have reported it as stressful. In the category support the highest levels of perceived teacherâ€™s work-related stress were caused by stress factors - lack of funds/resources to do the job and limited or no access to training. Out of 300 interviewed teachers, 179 (59.67%) have reported lack of funds/resources to do the job as very stressful, while another 50 (16.67%) as stressful. There is no significant relationship between the stress factor limited or no access to training and demographic and job characteristics.CONCLUSION: Our findings confirm that within the control category, the highest levels of perceived teacherâ€™s work-related stress were caused by changes in terms and conditions without consultation and given responsibility without the authority to take decisions, while in the category support, the same was true for stress factors lack of funds/resources to do the job and limited or no access to training. We have also concluded that the lower-grade school teachers, female teachers, teachers for whom this is the first job and teachers with university education perceive more often the lack of authority to take decisions as a very stressful factor than the upper-grade school teachers, male teachers, teachers previously employed in another workplace, and those with high education. The lower-grade school teachers, older teachers and teachers with university education perceive more often changes in education as a very stressful factor than the upper grade school teachers, younger teachers and those with high education.
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