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Stress and Anxiety

Abstract

One of the significant sectors of any state is the education systems in that it facilitates the continuations of the economy as well as the society from one generation to the other. The workers in the system are however cubed with massive pressures which lead to stress and anxiety in their occupations. Teachers are consequently faced with varying levels of stress and anxiety which influence their lives significantly. This paper consequently describes a research proposal aimed at articulating the causes of stress and anxiety and possible solutions to the problem.

An introduction will highlight the significance of the teaching occupation and its relation to stress. Background information in relation to the study will offer an insight into why the research is important. The existing problem will then be expounded in the statement of the problem. A literature review will illuminate on the issue in relation to the research of the other scholars. The methodology will then substantiate on the procedure to be followed and the research designs to be used. The analysis of the data and the expectations will highlight on the expected outcome of the research.

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Introduction

The effectiveness of teachers is facilitated by alertness and complete composure at work. Any deviations caused by stress or anxiety might significantly influence the performance of teachers. In the contemporary times, stress, anxiety and depression have been rampant among the teachers. It is of significance important therefore that an analysis is done in regard to the problem so that various solutions can be identified. Consequently, this paper describes a research proposal which will be conducted to articulate the main causes of anxiety among and stress among the teachers and additionally identify possible solutions to the stress and anxiety experienced by teachers.

Background Information on the Study

Teachers are a significant group in the society with their contribution in disseminating information to the community contributing significantly to the development of the society to better and improved conditions. They are consequently able to shape the professions that exist in the world. Thus, it’s important that the state in alliance with the society provide a conducive environment for these teachers to work on. The increased neglect of teachers has lead to increased distress as well as anxiety which are a consequence of the pressure these teachers experience at work.

It is common for the most state to focus on handling the chronic as well as the communicable diseases which pose a high mortality rate. Mental health is not paid attention to due to lack obvious symptoms and signs and because they have a relatively low mortality rate. Stress and anxiety have however been articulated with depression and other medical disorders which lead to disabilities if not addressed. The mental disorders subsequently lead to low productivity of teachers which trickles down to the country given their input as well as contribution. It is of crucial importance therefore that the authorities and society members cooperate to solve the existing problem of stress and anxiety in the teaching occupation.

Statement of the Problem

Teachers are viewed as the ultimate dispensers of knowledge as well as facilitators and managers of information and understanding. Having to encounter varying personalities and behaviors of the students, teachers are bound to experience distress and discomfort due to the demanding capability of their occupation. Over the years, however, the teaching occupation has been depicted to be one of the most stressful profession in the contemporary times. 41.5 percent of a 2000 sample of teachers admitted to being highly stressed. A 58 percent of the sample indicated they were lowly stressed. 36 percent of the interviewed group indicted that they were stressed all or the better part of their teaching time. The above analysis indicates an alarming in the teaching occupation in relation to stress and anxiety. Consequently, stress and anxiety significantly influence the performance of the teachers at schools. A similar trend in the problem will lead to deteriorating livelihood of teachers and consequently a more decline in the effectiveness of the education system. It is, therefore, critical that the problem is analyzed so that the sources of stress and anxiety can be identified and sorted

Research Question

The research will be centered on answering the following questions.

  1. What is the cause of anxiety and stress to the teachers in the educations system?
  2. What are the significance of the stress and anxiety to the lives of affected teachers?
  3. What are the possible ways of regulating stress in the teaching occupation?

Purpose of the Study

The studies objectives will be identifying the causes of stress to teachers and the significance of the stress in their lives. The study will aim at articulating possible solutions to the existing problem. The intension of the research will be to improve the quality of education in schools through improvement of the mental status of the teachers. Consequently, the research will aim at articulating the significance of depression and stress among teachers.

Hypothesis

A significant number of teachers, more so secondary school teachers suffer from stress and anxiety. A minority have similar poses same of stress and anxiety which advance to depression. The changes in the education systems are a main cause of stress upon the teachers. Heavy workload and conflicts with students significantly induce stress and anxiety of the teachers.

Literature Review

Various analyses in relation to stress and anxiety among teachers have been done expounding the subject to a broader extent through various investigations and research. An analysis by Cary Cooper on Teacher Stress indicates that incidence of stress among teachers in the last few years have been receiving attention more so by the press, the academics as well the teachers unions. Most of the previous analysis has however not been consistency due to the manner in which the studies have been conducted. There is also reluctance by the teachers and related personnel in admitting the experiences they have had with stress.

Notably as per the previous findings on the subject, teaching has been characterized as one of the occupations with high rates of stress. Mostly, the stress is associated with heavy workloads, indecent behavior of the students as well as poor pay and others.

Acceptance that there exists stress in the teaching occupation is the initial step to tackling stress among teachers according to Jack Dunham. It has been identified in the previous analysis that it becomes difficult for people and in particular teacher to admit the existence of stress in their jobs. Professional incompetence, as well as personal weakness, is largely associated with stress as well as anxiety though people rarely admit that there is an existing problem. The articulation of the term stress is also important as Jack says so as to solve the tackle stress among teacher in the right manner. Jack proposes three approaches which are used to articulate stress in the teaching sector. The first approach focuses on the pressure exerted on the teaching staff in schools. The approach suggests that humans have limits to which stress can be tolerated beyond which; it could lead to psychological and physiological damage. The approach defines stress to be a cause and not a symptom. Jack then proposes another approach which is concerned with the way teachers react to various pressure which is exerted to them by the administration of the education system. They could be informed of they could be emotional or bodily manifestation creating tension and frustration among teachers. The approach also extends the vicinity of stress to from the work place to the home place. His third approach used in explaining stress in the teaching sector focusing on the attempts by teachers to cope with various distresses that they encounter. The approach identifies stress in relation to the resources available to teacher assist in handling stress. Stress in this approach will, therefore, mean pressure by the institutions which are extreme to the extent that the resources available to the teacher for handling stress become inefficient. Mechanic defines copping behavior as the use of the attained skills, knowledge and techniques in handling stress as well as understanding it. The approach argues that the handling of stress requires the researcher to focus on solving the existing problem which is initiating anxiety as well as improving the coping capabilities of the teachers to various pressures.

In his analysis, Kaur analyses on teachers stress indicate that the occupation of teaching as the core reason why teachers are associated with significant stress. According to him, 27 percent of distress among the teachers is articulated to depression, anxiety and stress which is the highest among all the causes he highlighted. Conflict with colleagues as well as with the superiors articulated to 14 percent with pressures and excessive charges contributing only 9 percent.

Anxiety among teachers is highly associated with specific objects, activities or situations consequently leading to a phobia towards the .cause of anxiety. The extreme result of the anxiety which is expressed as a general dread may be depression. The psychological outcome may also be identified with burn-out alcohol abuse, absenteeism, fatigue, peculiar physical symptoms, sick building syndrome and other effects. The emotional symptoms articulated to stress as well as anxiety is loneliness, rejection, and sadness in which the stressed teachers feel unhappy and hopeless.

The study by Rathee indicated the prevalence of anxiety and stress among female teachers as to compare to their male counterparts. The stressors were also seen to vary between the two genders. The responses of various individual to stress were also seen to vary greatly depending on the experience. Some are seen to have more experience and therefore handling high levels of pressure and stress while the inexperienced ones are significantly affected by average distress.

One of the most significance initiator of stress among teacher changes within the system of teaching affected by various administrators. A reform of the education done in 1988 had various changes on the teaching occupation. A new curriculum was initiated into the teaching system which required teachers to conform to the new system. The reform also required teachers to adhere to the new requirements for worship and related religious activities. The structure of administration also varied with changes occurring in regard to membership, power, responsibility and the governing of the education system. These changes lead to extra pressure being exerted upon the teachers and stress as well as anxiety sprouts. Changes in leadership, as well as management, increases coercions and conflicts in the system a Cooper indicates.

Methodology

Both quantitative and qualitative research methods will be employed with the mixed-method design being applied in the research. The quantitative research will involve the issuing of questionnaires to a sample of 2000 teachers living in West Alabama. A descriptive survey will be employed in the research where the questionnaires issued will contain questions in relation to the existence of stress, the causes as well as possible solutions to the problem. An interview will also be incorporated into the research so that the researcher can get first-hand information from the participants. An anxiety, depression, and stress scale will also be employed as the tool for the qualitative research. The ADSS will be used to measure as well as assess stress among teachers who will be interviewed. The tool will scale the levels of distress and the data will later be analyzed through various statistical tools. Interviews will be a core tool in the research in that the interviewee will be responding in their own context. The questions will be open thus giving the participants the opportunity to respond to the questions in their own words. The questionnaires will, however, have a closed section which will assist in identifying similar causes of stress and anxiety to teachers.

Limitations of the Study

The main limitation that the research will probably face is inaccuracy in data. As identified in the literature review, teachers are not so willing to admit that they have stress or depression and this makes is hard for the researcher to get accurate data. There is also a possibility of lack of enough data since the scope of the teaching occupation is large and may be complex to get reliable accurate data.

Data Analysis Plan

A statistical method most preferably ANOVA will be used to articulate the results of the findings. The data will be analyzed to give the significance of stress and anxiety in the teaching occupation. The effectiveness of the methods used for coping with stress will be examined using ANOVA. Substantive conclusions will be made after the analysis of the collected data.

Expectations

The proposed findings are in association with the hypothesis that a significant number of teachers suffer from anxiety and stress. The frequent changes and complications in the curriculum will be identified as a significant cause of stress among teachers. The working conditions as the school policies are expected to have a significant impact on the level of stress experienced by the teachers.

Excessive workload will also be identified as causing anxiety as well as depression. Depression and alcoholism are to be identified as a significant implication of the stress and anxiety. It is likely that the participants will propose a regulation in the curriculum, an increased pay as well as increased teaching personnel as the main solutions to the problem in question.

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