Test Norms and Interpretation
 Differences Among TSI Scores

 

One additional means of determining the relative standing of a TSI respondent is by using the data displayed in Table 1 and/or the line graph shown in Figure 2 . With respect to the range of significance levels for the Total Stress Score, an individual's Total Stress Score can be compared to the cut-off points presented in Table 1. This comparison can be made in relationship to the ranges established for the regular, special, and combined teacher groups; the ranges established for male and female teachers; and the ranges established for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers. Cut-off points for significance levels (i.e., either significantly lower or significantly higher than average) were set at 1 standard deviation around the mean for each subsample.

Significantly strong stress levels indicate that the respondent has scored at or above the 84th percentile; significantly weak stress levels indicate a score at or below the 16th percentile. Those teachers falling in the midrange for a given subsample (e.g., male teachers) are those experiencing moderate stress levels. For the teacher wishing to make additional general comparisons of his or her scale and subscale scores to those of the norm group of 3,401 teachers, he or she should consider using Figure 2. This visual representation allows the teacher to graph his or her scores in comparison to (a) the average or mean score, (b) significantly high scores, and/or (c) significantly low scores for the entire norm sample. These cut-off points are based on one mean score and standard deviation derived for each of 10 subscale and the one total scores. One standard deviation above the mean signifies significantly strong stress; one standard deviation below the mean indicates significantly weaker stress.

These comparisons are best made using the following procedure:

1. Calculate the subscale and scale scores for each TSI subscale and scale.

2. Locate the "TimeMan" abbreviation for the Time Management subscale on Figure 2; place a large dot indicating the score from the Time Management subscale directly above the TimeMan abbreviation. Then, continue with the balance of the TSI subscale and scale scores; the order of abbreviations in Figure 2 corresponds to that of the subscales on the TSI. Then, connect the dots with a solid line.

3. Once the ratings have been entered and charted on Table 2 , comparison interpretations can be made. Are the respondent's data points in the lighter midrange? If so, each and all of the scores fell in the "average" midrange. Strictly speaking, an average score for a subscale would fall directly on the diamond above the subscale's abbreviation; scores usually vary somewhat above or somewhat below the subscale mean score. If they stay within the lighter midrange, it can be said that the respondent experienced higher than average or lower than average, but not significantly higher or lower than average, stress levels. Should the score exceed either the higher or lower cut-off points and be placed within either one or the other of the shaded areas of Figure 2, then the respondent is experiencing either significantly stronger or significantly weaker than average stress levels. Thus, a personalized profile of stress ratings can be developed and interpreted.