Nigerian Journal of Guidance and Counselling

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An Exploratory Study of Factors Affecting Stress Levels Among Teachers in Zimbabwe

J Mapfumo, A Shumba, M Daniel


Current research shows that stress levels among the teaching personnel has become a concern and most studies have found that stress is caused by physiological, psychological and environmental demands. This study seeks to determine: (1) factors that affect stress levels of teachers in primary school as a whole, and how these stress levels are related to experience and gender of teachers; (2) coping strategies that are used by these teachers to resist or adapt to stress, and (3) possible school system changes that could be adopted to combat stress among teachers. A purposive sample comprising 30 male and 20 female teachers from three primary schools in Bikita district in south–east Zimbabwe was used to obtain roughly comparable numbers of participants under the different levels of experience. It was not possible to obtain the ideal ten women in any of the schools studied. The result shows that the most stressful factors for both male and female teachers are: working on unnecessary tasks; taking work home after hours; unreasonable demands
for work quality; unmanageable number of projects; more work than can be done in one day; and having no time for a break. Implications for these findings are discussed in detail in this paper.

Keywords: stress levels, teachers, factors, experience, coping strategies, Zimbabwe

Nigerian Journal of Guidance and Counselling Vol. 13 (1) 2008: pp. 25-40
AJOL African Journals Online