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Stress in Tutor-Teachers in Taiwan: Exploration and an Evaluation of a Stress Management Programme.

Shu, Chin-Yi. (2003) Stress in Tutor-Teachers in Taiwan: Exploration and an Evaluation of a Stress Management Programme. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Previous researches by Western and Taiwanese researchers (e.g., Forman, 1982; Kyriacou, 1978; Kuo, 1989,1990) suggest that teacher stress is primarily seen as a response to negative experiences in schools. The transactional model of stress suggests that changes in the way in which an individual perceives stress and copes with it can help to reduce/nullify the effect of some of the stressors they face. The aim of the thesis was to investigate whether change individuals’ perception of their ability to cope with stress (self-efficacy in transactional model of stress), through education, could reduce the impact of stress on Taiwanese tutor-teachers. The moderating effects of individuals’ personality trait (Negative Affectivity and Optimism) on how stress is experienced by participants were also investigated. Three phases were included in this research: an interview stage to identify the stressors faced by Taiwanese tutor-teachers and the existing stress coping strategies they used; a questionnaire phase to assess whether the types of stressors and means of coping identified in phase one were typical of the tutor-teacher population on a wider scale. This was necessary to establish whether perceived stress was a problem that needed to be addressed and to identify what type of approach would be of most use to investigate the moderating effects of self-efficacy on stress for this population. Results obtained from phase two of the research suggested that a multi-dimensional, interactive approach to stress management would provide the most appropriate vehicle for addressing the issues raised by participants and for investigating the moderating effects of self-efficacy and personality traits on the experience of stress. The Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) method (Meichenbaum, 1985) was identified as the most appropriate type of multi-dimensional interactive programme to be used for this purpose. Twenty tutor-teachers in 7 junior high schools were questioned during the interview phase of this study. Their responses were used to develop the “Tutor-teacher’s Job-related Stressor Questionnaire (TJSQ)” and to modify the “Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ)” (Folkman & Lazarus, 1988) to ensure it’s relevance to the study population. These questionnaires were then used to investigate stress-related issues and stress coping strategies amongst Taiwanese tutor-teachers in general. This questionnaire was sent out to 925 participants from 37 junior high schools in Taiwan (617 responded). Six job-related stressors and four coping strategies were identified from responses to this questionnaire as being key to the negative experiences reported by tutor-teachers in Taiwan. The job-related stressors relate to “Hassles at Work” (the most frequently reported stressor), “Pupils’ Academic Achievement”, “Administration”, “Pupils’ Behaviour and Well-being”, “Pupils’ Parents”, and “Job Dissatisfaction”. The four key coping strategies identified were “Positive Reappraisal” (the most frequently reported technique), followed by “Planful Problem Solving”, “Seeking Social Support”, and “Self Control”. A Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) programme was developed for phase three of this study and was constructed by using data gathered in phase 2. The SIT programme was based upon work by Meichenbaum (1985) and applies principles expounded in the transactional model (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) and teacher stress model (Kyriacou & Sutcliffe, 1978a) to teach individuals how to look at their problems differently and to develop techniques to negate the impact of stressful events on their health and general well-being. Techniques taught during the programme include: ABC model of emotion (Ellis, 1962), problem-solving techniques (D’Zurilla & Goldfried, 1971), and a progressive relaxation technique (Jacobson, 1938). Eighty tutor-teachers took part in this phase of study. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ; Goldberg, 1978) and Stress Physiological Symptom (SPS; Greenberg, 1993) were used to assess any changes in reported stress symptoms occurring as a result of the training. The perceived change on self-efficacy (measured by Tutor-teacher Job-related Stressor Questionnaire (TJSQ; Shu, 1999)), Negative Affectivity (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), and Optimism (LOT, Scheier & Carver, 1985) were used to measure the moderating effects on the intervention. Participants were assigned to either the SIT group (receiving the SIT programme from week 1 to week 4 of the experimental period) or the WAIT group (receiving the SIT programme from week 5 to week 8 of the experimental period) and the measures were administered at three intervals during the study to monitor progress. Positive results were achieved for both groups. As suggested in the transactional model of stress, changes in the way in which an individual perceives stress and copes with it can help to reduce the effect of some of the stressors they face. Participants who had a large change in perceived self-efficacy after receiving the intervention reported more improvements on GHQ and SPS than those whose efficacy changed a little or not at all. And also as suggested by Cooper et al. (2001) individuals who were high in NA reported getting more profit from the intervention than the others because they are more sensitive to the impact of stressors but is on strain rather than on stressors themselves. These findings also provide further evidence to support the viability of the transactional model and teacher stress model as a means of understanding the importance of cognitive appraisal and personal trait in the way in which stress is experienced.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Shu, Chin-Yi.
Date : 2003
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2003.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:17
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 14:25
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856588

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