RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRESS, JOB INVOLVEMENT AND TEACHING THE HANDICAPPED
ZACHERMAN, JOSEPH G.
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The study investigated the relationship of teacher stress, both frequency and intensity, to exposure to handicapped students, years of teaching experience and to job involvement. The study was concerned with the following questions: (1) To what extent is perceived job stress associated with each category of teachers (special education, mainstream, regular classroom?) (2) To what extent is length of teaching experience associated with perception of job stress among special education, mainstream, and regular classroom teachers, respectively? (3) To what extent is job involvement associated with perception of job stress among special education, mainstream and regular classroom teachers, respectively?;Findings were based on the anonymous responses of 244 teachers (a 33% return rate) in 12 New York City public high schools having special education students; 41% special education, 33% regular and 26% mainstream teachers. The questionnaire included the Teacher Stress Inventory (Fimian, 1982) and the Central Life Interest survey (Dubin, 1956). The effects, on teacher stress, classroom presence of handicapped students (special education vs. mainstream vs. regular teachers), of years of teaching experience (less than four vs. four or more), and of job involvement (vs. not job involved) were examined.;The most prominent finding was the greater degree of teacher stress that occurred consistently for mainstream teachers in contrasts with special education teachers, contrary to the findings of Fimian (1982) and McHardy (1982).;Also consistent was the finding that the amount of teaching experience and job involvement did not effect this difference. On the whole, with inconsistent effects for experience and job involvement, special education teachers reported less stress than regular teachers, and mainstream and regular teachers did not differ. No differences were found between sex, age, and educational background groups.;Implications for educators and further study included the need for more training and support of mainstream teachers, and for more precisely conceptualized theoretical models of stress.
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