Working conditions and stress in the English education system

Ravalier, J M and Walsh, Joe (2018) Working conditions and stress in the English education system. Occupational Medicine, 68 (2). pp. 129-134. doi:10.1093/occmed/kqy017

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Background:- The UK education sector has among the highest level of stress sickness absence of all occupations. However, investigations of psychosocial working conditions which contribute to stress, including behaviour of students and parents, has not been conducted. Aims:- To investigate the psychosocial working conditions and prevalence of negative parental and student behaviour in a large sample of school teachers and college lecturers based in England. In addition, to assess the influence of working conditions, student behaviour and parental behaviour on perceived stress. Methods:- A cross-sectional survey of teachers in England. Respondents completed the Management Standards Indicator Tool (MSIT), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4), Student Behaviour Scale and a two-item measure of parental behaviour. Differences in these measures across different teaching roles were assessed using analysis of variance. Regression analyses were used to evaluate the association of MSIT, student and parental behaviour on PSS outcomes. Results:- Compared to UK benchmark scoring, psychosocial working conditions were at a poor level, with primary teachers in particular exposed to negative parental behaviours, and secondary teachers to poor student behaviour. Demands were consistently associated with perceived stress outcomes across job roles, although management support and relationships with peers also played a part. Conclusions:- Demands faced by teachers in England played an important part in the experience of stress. Interventions to reduce these demands, and the high frequencies of negative pupil and parental behaviours, should be considered.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: parental behaviour; stress; student behaviour; teachers; working conditions
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 14:48
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:04

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