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Summarizes the results of a comprehensive investigation into levelsof psychological distress, and factors associated with those levels,among a large and representative…
Summarizes the results of a comprehensive investigation into levels of psychological distress, and factors associated with those levels, among a large and representative sample of Western Australian teachers. Psychological distress was measured by the General Health Questionnaire, and the nine independent variables included five stressors (inadequate access to facilities; frequency of student misbehaviour; the extent to which societal expectations of teachers are seen to be excessive; the intrusion of school work into out‐of‐hours time and total workload); and four destressors (teachers′ perceptions of the extent of their influence and autonomy in the school environment; of their personal competency and achievement, of the amount of support they receive from colleagues and principal; and of the acknowledgement and praise they receive). The data show that levels of distress are high, and that the five stressors correlate positively and the four destressors correlate negatively with distress. The data also confirm the theoretical model used in the research, which predicts that the destressors effectively ameliorate the distress associated with the stressors. While the general pattern of the results is the same for male and female teachers, some important sex differences are identified. Discusses the implications of these findings for school administration.