TSI Users Defined


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.