Prevalence and correlates of stress among teachers in mixed day public primary schools in Nairobi county
Primary school teachers’ role acts as the basis for academic success or failure, physical and emotional stability, cultural and social values enhancement for the young school going children. Government expenditure on their salaries in both developed and developing countries accounts for between half to three quarter current education expenditure with some African countries accounting as high as 90%, (World Bank 2003). Research on occupational stress rated teaching occupation as the second most stressful job out of the 26 occupations that were analyzed, Journal of Managerial Psychology, (2005). Kyriacou et al., (1987). General Objective: To assess the prevalence of stress and its levels among teachers in mixed day public primary schools in Nairobi County. Specific Objectives: Determine levels of stress among teachers in mixed day public primary schools in Nairobi County. To correlate socio - demographic factors such as age, gender, marital status among others with teacher stress in mixed day public primary schools in Nairobi County. Design: This was a descriptive cross sectional study. Study Setting: The study was conducted in selected day mixed public primary schools in Nairobi Method: A systemic random sample of (n=267) teachers was selected and interviewed using Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) and a structured demographic questionnaire. Data was collected, coded and entered into statistical package for social sciences version 20 (SPSS 20). Prevalence rates of stress levels across all the factors were presented using mean scores and percentages. A beta regression was used in investigating factors that were potentially related with stress levels and significance level was set at 5%. The overall prevalence of stress among the study respondents was 67% with mean score of 3.36 as measured by Teachers Stress Inventory (TSI - 1988). All the respondents reported above 53.9% stress scores. Among the 7 subscales perceived to be the sources of stress by the participants, all the respondents with a mean score of 3.8 in lack of supervisory support subscale were 76 % while poor organizational management subscale had 75% of respondents with a mean stress score of 3.73. The two subscales were perceived to be the major sources of stress. Lack of life satisfaction was found to be the least source of perceived stress with 60% of the respondents having a mean score of 3.01. In relation to gender, females were found to be more likely to be stressed at work place than males. Untrained teachers were also found to be likely to be stressed than those with other academic certificates. Respondents with few years to retirement were reported to be more likely to be stressed than those with more years to retirement. Conclusion: Significant prevalence of stress among respondents was identified. Managerial /administrative subscales were the greatest sources of perceived stress. The study also established a serious shortage of teachers in the mentioned schools. Implication: It is hoped that the study outcome will be useful to policy makers in providing interventions in the managerial/administrative subscales that were mentioned by the respondents as the major sources of stress at work place.