Academic journal article Education

Self Efficacy and Some Demographic Variables as Predictors of Occupational Stress among Primary School Teachers in Delta State of Nigeria

Academic journal article Education

Self Efficacy and Some Demographic Variables as Predictors of Occupational Stress among Primary School Teachers in Delta State of Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Stress is a 'global epidemic' (WHO, 2002) meaning it is widespread hence Akinboye, Akinboye and Adeyemo (2002) referred to it as the twentieth century disease. Several studies abound pointing to the fact that teachers stress has been identified as an important problem (Akpochafo, 2011; Dick and Wagner, 2001; Kyriacou, 2001). Borg (1990) and Akinboye et al (2002) found out that teachers or employees see their jobs as being stressful. Adeyemo and Ogunyemi (2003) asserted that workers that are involved in high levels of personal interaction such as nurses and teachers are more vulnerable to occupational stress and professional burnout than those in product oriented organizations. Samuel (2011) cited Shives (1990) that about 25% of all absenteeism leading to low productivity is caused by stress related problems and that 80-90% of all industrial accidents are related to emotional stress. Maskch and Jackson (1982) views teaching as ranking behind air traffic controllers and physicians in terms of stress. This is to show the intensity of teaching being stressful. Selye (1978) sees stress as any external event or internal drive which threatens to upset the organismic equilibrium. Kyriacou (2001) defines stress as when there is an abnormality between the demands made upon an individual and the individual's ability to cope with these demands. Certainly, there are many stressors in the school environment such as organizational, physical, work stress, relationships, career growth and extra-organizational stressors. Okebukola and Jegede (1989) see some stressors like teaching load, lack of time, lack of resources for teaching, shortage and poor facilities as being intrinsic to the teaching profession. Akpochafo (2011) discovered that organizational stress which includes salary, fringe benefits etc ranked highest in the list of stressors followed by work stress which includes large class size, high work load etc. Pithers and Soden (1998) in their study revealed that role overload was a significant stressor in teachers. For Lewis (1999) disciple was a stressor and Bress (2006) study revealed that insufficient time, unnecessary classroom observation and poor relations with colleagues were the crucial sources of stress for teachers.

There is no doubt that stress has a negative impact on teachers but the ability to cope makes the difference among teachers. Some teachers undergoing various stresses are able to cope due to their personal resources while others are unable to cope with it in the school setting. It is against this background that this study was conceived to find out if self efficacy can predict occupational stress of primary school teachers.

Self Efficacy

Bandura (1998) postulated that perceived self efficacy refers to peoples beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. This construct no doubt affects peoples thought, action and feelings and it can be developed through four main sources, namely, enactive self mastery, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physiological and emotional states.

Tschannem-Moran et al (1998) sees teachers self efficacy as a belief in ones capability to organize and execute courses of action required to successfully accomplish a specific teaching task in a particular context. Certainly, not all teachers can withstand stress but some succeed and this can be attributed to so many reasons of which the following authors Tschannem-Moran (1998), Woolfolk Hoy and Hoy (1998), Schwarzer, Schmitz and Tang (2000) referred to as teachers' perceived self efficacy as a job disposition. Schwarzer and Hallum (2008) made clear distinctions between self efficacy and other similar constructs such as self esteem self concept and locus of control as follows that self efficacy implies an internal attribution, it is prospective and it is an operative construct. Tschannem-Moran and Woolfolk (2001), Coladarchi (1992), Ashton and Webb (1986) studies reveal that teachers with high sense of self efficacy shows greater levels of planning, organization and enthusiasm and persist when things do not go smoothly and are more resilient in the face of setbacks. …

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