The item
content of the Teacher Stress Inventory was initially developed
based on the experiences of public school teachers working with
regular and special needs students. As noted in Chapter 4, these
items were first field tested and then used with a number of
teacher samples in eight states. To this extent, the Teacher
Stress Inventory should be used only to assess the stress levels
of United States public school teachers teaching regular or
special education students in grades 1 through 12. Though the
Teacher Stress Inventory has been used with a number of teacher
samples in other countries, and with numerous teacher trainees
and college professors in the United States, norms are not yet
available for these groups. Teacher scores on the subscales and
scale can then be compared against the norms established for the
entire norm group; regular or special education teachers; male
or female teachers; and/or elementary, middle school, or
secondary teachers. Insofar as the majority of the data upon
which the Teacher Stress Inventory was developed were collected
from the Northeast, Middle Atlantic, and Southeastern states,
comparisons of teachers from nonrepresented geographical areas
in the United States to the norm group may be inappropriate.
Thus, additional caution should be exercised when comparing
teacher scores to those of the norm group.
Teachers actively
involved in the full-time instruction of children and youth are
appropriate respondents for the TSI. In some cases (e.g.,
workshop settings), teachers will either complete and score the
TSI on their own or will complete it and have their scores
computed by a workshop presenter. In this fashion teachers
receive feedback about their stress levels and identify stress
related problems based on significantly higher than average
scores in comparison to the TSI norm group. In other cases
(e.g., survey projects), teachers complete the TSI and return it
to the practitioner or researcher conducting organization-wide
stress surveys. In such cases, and unless the respondent number
is rather small, teachers may not receive individualized
feedback. Teachers who have left the classroom to administrate
full time should not complete the TSI. These individuals are
directed to the school administrator stress research that has
been conducted by Walter Gmelch and his colleagues at the
University of Oregon and Washington State University (Gmelch,
1977). Preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers, and college
professors should not use this version of the TSI.
The norms presented
in Chapter 3 have been computed based on the data provided by an
aggregate sample of 3,401 elementary and secondary teachers;
thus, the TSI should be used only with teachers teaching in
grades 1 through 12. The data derived from the aggregate sample
were used to compute norms for both the Total Stress Score and
the subscale scores. TSI Total Stress Score norms have also been
established for regular education teachers (n = 962) and special
education teachers (n = 2,352); thus the TSI can be used by
teachers from either group. Male (n = 726) and female (n =
2,561) teacher norms have also been computed. Finally, norms
have also been established for elementary (n = 791), middle
school (n = 499), and secondary (n = 1,420) teachers; thus,
teachers in any of these levels can be compared to their
appropriate norm group. TSI users have the option of comparing
respondent scores to the entire norm group, to one particular
subsample (e.g., to the male teacher norms), or to both the
aggregate sample and one or more subsamples. |