Job Satisfaction and Stress in New Zealand Primary Teachers

Eleanor Hawe, Bryan Tuck, Robert Manthei, Vivienne Adair, Dennis Moore

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9 Citations (Scopus)


A sample of 353 full-time classroom teachers in 30 primary schools completed scales assessing overall occupational stress, sources of occupational stress, and job satisfaction. The teachers reported moderate levels of stress and job satisfaction. They rated disruptive students, inadequate remuneration and task overload as sources of moderate stress, lack of respect for teachers and teaching as sources of mild to moderate stress, and inadequate resources and administrative support as sources of mild stress. The actual numbers of pupils in a class with serious learning difficulties and behaviour disorders correlated positively with job stress and negatively with job satisfaction. Teachers attributed a high proportion of personal stress in their lives to their jobs. Female and male teachers had similar patterns of stress, but there were significant differences between the patterns of beginning and experienced teachers. Beginning and experienced teachers reported similar levels of job satisfaction, but female teachers reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction with teaching than their male counterparts. The teachers were able to be clustered into two groups: one consisting of teachers experiencing moderate levels of stress and job satisfaction, the other consisting of teachers experiencing very high levels of stress and little job satisfaction. A forward regression analysis indicated that task overload and disruptive pupils were the key sources of stress discriminating between the two clusters. Schools could also be divided into two clusters in terms of the cluster identity of the majority of their teachers. Schools in both clusters had similar demographic characteristics (i.e., the socioeconomic status of the area from which the school drew its students, the proportion of full-time registered staff and pupil mobility).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Job satisfaction
  • Stress variables
  • Teacher morale

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