Inventory Development
 The Teacher Stress Scale

 

The first version of the TSI was a pilot form of the instrument called the Teacher Stress Scale. With respect to the preliminary content validity of the scale, Fimian first summarized the available literature during 1979. Finding 135 sources and manifestations of teacher stress, he then categorized these into one or more of 13 a priori factors (Fimian, 1982). Then, using the preliminary content validation procedures described in greater detail later in this chapter, an initial item pool was developed. This final list of 63 usable items was used to develop the next and pilot form of the TSI, also termed the Teacher Stress Scale.

The 63-item Teacher Stress Scale was then used in the first round of factor validations. Following earlier work conducted by Maslach and Jackson (198 1), two Likert-type measures for each of the 63 items were adopted: one each for the strength and frequency dimensions. The stress strength scale ranged from 1 (no strength, not noticeable) to 5 (major strength, extremely noticeable). This subjective measure allowed teachers to rate the degree of perceived impact each item would have upon a teacher's overall stress level. Based on this scale, items rated 3, 4, or 5 would be the most significant contributors to teachers' overall stress levels. Thus, respondents did not signify the absence or presence of on-the-job stress, but instead indicated the degree of stress strength experienced. Concurrently, a 7-point Likert-type scale was developed to assess the frequency with which the stressful events were experienced in the workplace. This objective frequency scale ranged from 1 (never) to 7 (every day). High ratings on this scale would indicate that the stressful event was experienced relatively often. These rating scales were used on the subsequent version of the TSI. An additional 8 personal and 13 professional information items were also included on a front cover of the form.

The Teacher Stress Scale was then distributed to 365 special education teachers from Connecticut. Submitting these data to principal components factor analyses followed by oblique and varimax rotations, 30 of the original 63 items were retained. Seven factors resulted that explained 70% of the strength and 64% of the frequency variance associated with the item interrelationships; factors were identical for both the strength and frequency dimensions. These were termed Personal/Professional Stressors, Professional Distress, Discipline and Motivation, Emotional Manifestations, Biobehavioral Manifestations, and Physiological-Fatigue Manifestations. These 30 items were retained and acted as the core of the new version of the scale, now termed the Teacher Stress Inventory (Fimian, 1985).