The wellbeing of New Zealand teachers : the relationship between health, stress, job demands and teacher efficacy : a thesis presented for the partial fulfilment for the requirements of Master of Educational Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Teacher stress is a phenomenon that has attracted a vast amount of attention over the last forty years. Historically, national and international research has demonstrated role overload and teacher efficacy have long been associated with teacher stress. More recent international research indicates increased role responsibility might also be a contributing factor. The last published New Zealand study on teacher stress was in 1996, which prompted further investigation of the factors associated with stress and extended previous research by examining the physical and mental health status of New Zealand teachers. The present study examined the relationship between physical health, mental health, stress, role overload, role responsibility, and teacher efficacy. It also examined the factors that influence stress and mental health levels. Finally, the present study investigated the prevalence of stress to determine if it has changed since the last published study. Participants were 131 teachers randomly recruited across New Zealand high schools who completed a battery of online selfreport questionnaires that measured health, stress, role overload, role responsibility and teacher efficacy. Analysis revealed the physical and mental health of teachers was no worse than that of the general population. The results of a path analysis demonstrated role responsibility and role overload directly influenced stress and mental health levels negatively. Physical health had a direct and positive influence over stress and mental health levels and teacher efficacy was found to have no influence over stress and mental health levels. Over 39% of teachers considered teaching to be either very stressful or extremely stressful. This is an increase of 13.6% from the last published study. The findings and limitations are discussed along with the implications for teachers and policy makers.
High school teachers, Teacher effectiveness, New Zealand, Job stress, Workload, Secondary school teachers, Health