Date of Conferral







Neal McBride


Stress among teachers has been an area of increasing concern in education. This study was designed to examine the role of collective efficacy on negative stress effects experienced by elementary general and special education teachers and to determine the difference between effects, if any, in both groups. This topic is important to school leaders and teachers because many teachers are leaving the field, resulting in a shortage of teachers across the United States. The study’s theoretical framework consisted of social cognitive theory, the theory of collective efficacy, and equity theory. Data were collected using the Collective Efficacy Scale, Short Form, a 12-item Likert scale that measures teacher collective efficacy and has three levels (high, average, and low efficacy), and the Teacher Stress Inventory-Revised, a 49-item, 10-factor instrument that measures the extent to which teachers experience occupational stress. Participants (207 elementary teachers in South Carolina) were recruited through Facebook postings. A 2x3 ANOVA was performed to analyze the difference among the groups. Findings showed no difference between general and special education teachers in their stress levels. However, teachers’ level of collective efficacy had an effect on their stress levels; as collective efficacy increased, stress decreased. There was no significant interaction found between teachers’ classification (general or special education) and teachers’ level of collective efficacy on their stress levels. These findings contribute to positive social change by providing insight into how collective efficacy influences stress in general and special education teachers. This information may help school leaders provide new and/or improved resources that foster collective efficacy and lower stress among teachers.

Included in

Education Commons