Occupational Stress And Job Satisfaction Of Secondary School Teachers

Project And Seminar Material On Psychology Education

Occupational Stress And Job Satisfaction Of Secondary School Teachers (Daniel)


This study is designed to investigate the occupational stress and job satisfaction of secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene. Three research questions, two hypotheses guided the study. A descriptive survey design was employed for the study and stratified random sampling technique was also used to compose the 200 respondents. The following are the objectives of the research: to examine the factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene, to determine the sources of stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene and to identify the strategies for coping with stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene. The findings indicated that stress due to unconducive working environment and inadequate infrastructural facilities has significant negative influence on teachers’ job effectiveness in secondary schools. It was recommended among others that management of secondary schools, that is the government, parents and other education stakeholders should make teachers work environment more conducive by giving more attention to the motivational needs of teachers such as fringe benefits, good offices, canteen and good recreation centres.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

One of the most disturbing issues that have bothered stakeholders in the education industry during the past decade is declining productivity among teachers. Teachers’ job effectiveness can be easily inferred from results of various external examinations such as the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) among others. Some in- service programmes have been organized by government at various times towards improving teachers’ job effectiveness. Such programmes include sponsoring of teachers for in-service training, organizing seminars, workshops, conferences and symposia in educational matters. The fact that noticeable improvement has not been recorded in the issue of teachers’ job effectiveness implies that more intellectual efforts should be made in this regard and hence the rationale for this present study. Teachers’ job effectiveness can be seen as the teachers’ ability to improve students’ learning as measured by students’ gains on standardized achievement tests (Basavanthappa, 2014).

Teachers’ job effectiveness may be influenced by several factors. Some of these factors may include: motivation, leadership style of principals, working environment, availability of infrastructural facilities, workload, equipments and instructional materials, remuneration and occupational stress among others. Stress is a feeling of tension, which is both physical and emotional (Selye, 2004). Stress is an aspect of the normal fabric of human existence. It is a fundamental part of the challenges which prompt mastery of new skills and behavioural patterns. However, problems arise when stress becomes excessive and chronic. The individual then experiences disputed emotional, cognitive and physiological functioning (Kyriaciou, 2001). Stress is an adaptive response mediated by individual characteristics and or psychological processes, which are consequence of any external action, situation or event that places special physical and /or psychological demands upon a person (Jepsob, & Forrest, 2006).

Occupational stress is viewed by Kyriacio (2001) as negative feelings or unpleasant emotional state resulting from work. Smith and Bourke (2002) view occupational stress as a subjective negative reaction to aspect of the job that threatens a worker’s self-esteem or wellbeing. Akinboye and Adeyemo (2002) describe it as a “global epidemic” with no occupation spared. Thus, occupational stress could be experienced by Medical Doctors, Priests, Prison Workers, Policemen, Soldiers, Nurses, Custom Officers, Teachers, Lawyers, Pilots, Sailors, Bankers and so on.

Teachers’ job seems to be very stressful especially in these modern days where teachers’ welfare seems to have been neglected by their employers. Borg (2000) observes that up to one third of teachers perceive their occupation as highly stressful. It is clear that teachers can be exposed to a number of sources of stress. Kyriacou (2001) also reports that the main sources of teacher stress are teaching students who lack motivation, maintaining discipline in the classroom, confronting general time pressures and workload demands. Others include being exposed to a large amount of change, being evaluated by others, having challenging relationships with colleagues, administration, and management. Moreover, being exposed to generally poor working conditions prospects, unsatisfactory working conditions, ambiguity of the teacher’s role, poor relationships with colleagues, pupils, administrators and job insecurity are some of the main sources of teacher stress.
Murphy (2005) submits that stress can be the result of any number of situations in the occupational workplace of a person which influence their extent of job effectiveness.

Murphy illustrates the following as categories of workplace stressors in one’s occupation to include: poor working environment, inadequate infrastructural facilities, excess workload, inadequate instructional materials, lack of in-service training and students’ discipline. Others include: conflicts occurring due to ill-defined organizational boundaries, over promotion; under promotion; lack of job security; thwarted ambitions, relationship at work; poor relations with boss, subordinates or colleagues; difficulties in delegation of duties, threat of violence, harassment; organizational structure and climate which include: participation or non-participation in decision making; management style and communications patterns.

The effectiveness of the educational system largely depends upon active, resourceful and competent teachers (Usha, 2013). An effective teacher not only imparts the entire educational curricula allotted to him or her in the best and most efficient manner but also ensures the optimum development of students. In today’s scenario where there is fierce competition in all spheres of life, effectiveness of a teacher becomes imperative to empower students to face global challenges. Effective teaching is a par excellence attribute of quality education. There are many factors, which influence the effectiveness of the teacher among others includes: intelligence, attitude towards teaching, experience, academic qualification, personality, mental health and so on (Raghu, 2004).

Basavanthappa (2014) maintains that effective teachers are those who achieve the goals which they set for themselves or which is set by others such as Ministries of Education, Legislators and other Government Officials and School/college Administrators. Effective teachers must possess the knowledge and skills needed to attain the goals, and must be able to use that knowledge and those skills appropriately if these goals are to be achieved. The researchers observed that the standardised achievement test common in secondary schools in the study area are: school entrance examination, secondary school admission test,school placement test, achievement in specific school subjects, norm-referenced, group-administered achievement tests, criterion-referenced tests, terminal and external examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, (WAEC), and the National Examination Council (NECO). These various forms of test are used to ascertain the extent of teachers’ job effectiveness hence measure their level of achievements in the performance of their teaching task.

As opined by Janelle (2017), a teacher thus performs certain duties that make them effective in their job. Such duties includes: plan lessons that teach specific subjects, such as Mathematics and English language, teach whole groups, or small group with the lessons that they have prepared with defined objectives to achieve. He/she assesses and evaluates students’ abilities (strengths and weaknesses) in various subjects that have been taught to them. Teachers also prepare students well for standardized tests, communicating students’ progress to their parents so that they know the areas of weakness and strength of their children. He/she develops and enforces classroom rules that enhance effective lesson delivery and students’ learning; supervises students during extracurricular activities (lunch, playground, among others.), conducts in-class activities and plans field trips for students to have practical understanding of the theories taught in class.

Pooring (2010) observes that teachers’ stress often affect their ability to function effectively, sometimes to the extent of causing burn out. Other common negative effects of teachers’ stress include: reduction in work performance and output, inability to manage time or delegate, feeling of alienation and inadequacy, lack of motivation, increasing introversion, irritability with colleagues, unwillingness to cooperate, frequent irrational conflict at work withdrawal from supportive relationships, loss of appetite for the job, frequent infection and accident proneness (Pooring, 2010). Jack and Punch (2001:7) have identified certain force that are sources of occupational stress of teachers to include; poor working environment, inadequate infrastructural facilities, excess workload, inadequate instructional materials, delay and non-payment of salaries, in-service training and indiscipline.

The researchers observed in the study area that unconducive working environment is a source of stress which seems to influence teachers’ job effectiveness. The speculation is that most secondary schools in the area seem to have poor working environment such as dilapidated facilities, hostile premises and dirt among others which do not mean well for the teachers. Teachers find it difficult to teach in such environment. This can be affirmed from the views of Ortese, Yawe and Akume (2006) who state that learning is influenced by the nature of environment. The authors add that the school environment creates conducive physical and emotional atmosphere which help students to learn better.

Inadequate infrastructural facilities is another area of concern expressed by concerned individuals in the study area such as: parents, students and members of the public which seem to increase teacher stress and have negative influence on teachers’ job effectiveness. Most secondary schools hardly have enough learning facilities like library, laboratory, classrooms, furniture, playground, canteen among others. This situation seems to have negative implication on the level of teachers’ conformability, preparedness and confidence. In line with the above view, Uganga (2000) posits that in order to ensure effective teaching and learning in any institution, school administrators must urgently create a safe structure with adequate sanitary facilities, build staff offices, provide highly equipped and furnished laboratories. This is because lack of these` can result to increase in teacher stress, ineffectiveness and performance of their job. It is based on the assumption that occupational stress may influence teachers’ job effectiveness in secondary schools in the study area where the the researchers curiosity in attempting to unravel the occupational stress and job satisfaction of secondary school teachers in ikot ekpene

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of occupational stress among teachers has been generating serious discussion among educational stakeholders particularly in the North Central States in recent times. This is because, in most secondary schools in the area, stakeholders have expressed concern on the issue of occupational stress which may have been responsible for teachers’ job ineffectiveness in areas such as: students’ poor performance school entrance examination, poor students’ school admission tests, poor students’ placement tests, poor performance of students’ in aptitude test which are designed to predict achievement in specific school subjects, poor students’ norm-referenced, group- administered and criterion-referenced achievement tests which evaluate the achievement of students, the skills they need to learn and the effectiveness of schools in teaching these skills, internal examination of students and external examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO).

According to the information gathered from teachers interviewed in the study area by the researchers, the indices of occupational stress which appear to be seriously affecting teachers’ job ineffectiveness in the area are: unconducive working environment which makes teachers demoralized in preparing themselves for effective teaching, inadequate provision of infrastructural facilities, giving teachers excessive workload, provision of instructional materials for teaching and learning.

Moreover, personal observation by the researcher in the study area revealed a case whereby a class teacher in one secondary school collapsed and died in a classroom because of job stress. It also happened almost two times to the information of the researchers where two lecturers collapsed in the class. This may have been as a result of excess workload and poor ventilation in lecture rooms or halls. These mentioned factors may have been seriously affecting teachers’ effectiveness especially in the area of students’ achievement in specific school subjects in the study area to the extent that secondary education seems to be losing value, Uganga (2000).

It is generally believed that stress is inevitable as long as one is living; hence the problem lies on its management. The secondary school system is a veritable environment for teaching and learning activities. Stress is a very serious threat to teachers’ abilities to meet up with the challenges in the school. When stress is poorly managed by secondary school teachers, this could have adverse effects on their mode of teaching and then affects academic excellence of the students. When a teacher is under stress,he is faced with disrupted emotional, cognitive and psychological functioning. Therefore, it is necessary for teachers to adequately manage stress when it occurs so that they can teach effectively and efficiently. What then, are the stress management strategies for secondary school teachers? It is against this background that this study is faced with the problem of establishing validly occupational stress and job satisfaction of secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examines occupational stress and job satisfaction of secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria.

The specific objectives and are:

  1. To examine the factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene.
  2. To determine the sources of stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene.
  3. To identify the strategies for coping with stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene.

1.4 Research Questions

These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:

  1. What are the factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene?
  2. What are the sources of stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene?
  3. What are the strategies for coping with stress among secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The research hypotheses to be tested include:

  1. There is a significant relationship between the sources of stress and job satisfaction.
  2. There is no significant difference between gender and teachers’ responses to stress.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is designed to investigate the management of teacher stress in some selected secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene.The findings of the study will provide data or literature for academicians as a basis for further research. The study will benefit the general society since stress affects many workers and using management strategies is a duty of each organization. The research findings will help head teachers to be able to identify the stress management strategies to be used in primary schools to address stress problems which can help in teacher commitment and hence retention.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is designed to investigate the occupational stress and job satisfaction of secondary school teachers in Ikot Ekpene. It will therefore be carried among 200 selected secondary school teachers in the Local Government Area.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

Apart from the time constraint, the researcher was faced with lack of capital to print as many as possible questionnaires and. Many respondents were not willing to respond to the questions as the researcher wanted. Also, the variables identified as intervening variables were not controlled for during the sampling and data analysis.

1.9 Definitions of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:


The process of dealing with or controlling things or people.

Secondary School:

Is the next step up from primary school. Secondary schools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondary schools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools.


The feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, and pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope.


Persons who help others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.

1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of the Study

The researcher has come to the conclusion that the extent the factor responsible for stress cause stress among teachers in Ikot Ekpene is high. Also these teachers recognize stress when they have it hence they manage their stress in their own way using different strategies except consulting the counselor.

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made.

  1. Government needs to improve on teacher’s incentives and pay package, recruit more teachers in the teaching profession so as to ease the heavy workload on teachers. The necessary instructional materials and teaching aids should be provided for teaching and learning activities. Also a minimal number of students of about 40 per class should be approved to enhance effective class control by the teacher during teaching and learning activities.
  2. The school should be able to assist counselors to provide pamphlets and printed materials on stress management which could be made available free of charge.
  3. The school should also provide an enabling environment for guidance and counseling activities in the school.
  4. Adequate emphasis should be given to teachers on the need for rest, physical exercise, maintaining a balanced diet.

5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Job stress affects employees commitment among teachers.
  2. Job stress affects employees turnover in secondary schools.
  3. Job stress affects teachers job effectiveness in Ikot Ekpene.
  4. Job stress affect teachers productivity in Ikot Ekpene.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. The workload of workers should be reduced to a more reasonable level. The hospital should employ more workers to help lift too much workload of the workers. Workers of the hospital who are developing their career should be encouraged to do so, this could be done by granting them leave or reducing their workload so they could have more time for career development
  2. Workers should try as much as possible to strike a balance between their office work and family responsibilities; none should be taken with levity
  3. The workers position and status should be put into consideration and adequate incentives and benefits should be made available.
  4. Organizational policies should be instituted that will make communication amongst the rank files liberalized and made easier.
  5. There should be wide consultation on issues before taking any decision. Workers should be given freedom to express their minds on issues affecting them. This will facilitate a sense of belonging among the workers.
  6. Efforts made by government to revamp the economy should be intensified. If this is achieved, workers will have job opportunities and the condition of service will be enhanced.
  7. Workers should ensure self protection against stress. They should ensure means to fight back these stress factors. They should be able to detect the signal of stress factors and possible causes within the environment.
  8. Workers should endeavour to attend mental health seminars and adopt stress reducing measures like relaxation, sleep, rest (leave seeking), balanced diet, exercises that help the heart and lungs, dangers of alcohol abuse and ability to let go.
  9. Workers should set priorities. Most effective workers achieve their objectives at early hours of the day, those who fail to plan and set priorities often face stress situations at the end of the day. Long range plans and goals are also important.
  10. Traits like being aggressive, highly competitive, hard driving, ambitious and being optimistic make the workers the primary subject of stress. What is needed exactly when such is discovered is for the workers to undertake counselling from organizational psychologist and supervisors.

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