The relationships between perceived stress and job satisfaction, locus of control, and length of teaching experience



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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between perceived stress in teachers and their level of job satisfaction, locus of control orientation and length of their teaching experience. Stress was defined as a syndrome of potentially negative affects of apprehension, tension, low self-control, emotional instability, and suspicion usually accompanied by potentially pathogenic physiological and psychological changes (such as increased heart rate and anger or depression). It has been hypothesized to have a theoretical relationship with job satisfaction (defined as the summative affective orientation of an individual toward his work). Hypothesis 1 predicted that a high level of perceived stress would be associated with a low level of job satisfaction. The second hypothesis predicted that low stress would be associated with internal locus of control orientation. The locus of control concept refers to the degree to which individuals attribute their life events to their own behaviors. Internal locus of control represents a high degree and external locus of control represents a low degree of such attribution. The third hypothesis predicted a positive relationship between job satisfaction and locus of control orientation. The next three hypotheses, H4 , H5 , and H6 , examined the relationships of length of teaching experience with the other variables in the study. H4 predicted an association between high stress and low experience. H5 predicted an association between high experience and high job satisfaction. H6 predicted an association between high experience and internal locus of control. H7 examined the combined contributions of the independent variables to the explanation of variance in the dependent variable. It predicted that length of teaching experience, locus of control orientation, and job satisfaction would account for more variance in perceived stress level than would any of the constructs operating alone. A step-wise multiple regression model was used to test this hypothesis. The major findings of this study were as follows: 1. High levels of perceived stress in teachers were associated with low job satisfaction and external locus of control orientation. 2. Length of teaching experience was not demonstrated to have a significant association with perceived stress level, locus of control orientation or job satisfaction. 3. Teachers exhibiting characteristics of high experience, high job satisfaction, and internal locus of control orientation were found to have lower levels of perceived stress than were teachers exhibiting only one or two of these characteristics. The findings of this study have provided support for the combination of the independent variables job satisfaction and locus of control orientation, in the explanation of stress in teachers. Also, the data presented in the analysis of the sub-scales of job satisfaction have provided useful evidence for use in further research on the dimensions of the construct as they operate in the setting of the teaching profession.



Teacher morale