Wiley, Carolyn. 2000. "A Synthesis of Research on the Causes, Effects, and Reduction Strategies of Teacher Stress." Journal of Instructional Psychology, June.
Carolyn Wiley wrote an extensive review of the research on occupational stress as it applies to one specific group -- teachers. Many of her cites are older, one going back as far as 1938, which suggests she did a very thorough job of going through the literature. To emphasize the effects of stress over time on the body, she refers to a pathologist who asserts that people don't die of "old age:" they die because one body system gave out, causing a cascade of events leading to death, and that stress over time is the likely cause of the first system's collapse.
She also makes the point that we cannot avoid stress in life, but that teachers experience significant levels of stress....
She classifies stress into four categories: "extra-organizational" (from outside the job); " organizational (stemming from within the organization the individual works for); "task-related" (stemming from the person's job responsibilities) and "individual stressors" (personal difficulties).
While much of the research cited is very old and society has experienced major changes that might well justify re-examining the issues, other research supports some of Wiley's points. For instance, Wiley reports that in 1969, researchers found that when teachers work in schools where support may be lacking they tend to focus on their own survival instead of teaching. This idea is generally supported by Dunseath et. al., who found that workers who had built strong support systems for themselves at work experienced less stress and coped with the stress they did experience at work better.
The author also reported that the amount of stress teachers had to cope with sometimes stemmed from a feeling of lack of control over how they did their jobs. It is possible to picture a situation where a person feels "out of sync" with his or her job because the level of…
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