Journal article

Students' Problem Behaviors as Sources of Teacher Stress in Special Needs Schools for Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities

Published in:
  • Frontiers in Education. - 2020, vol. 4, p. 1-11
English Students with intellectual disabilities in special needs schools often exhibit high levels of problem behaviors. Besides of the challenges for the concerned individuals, peers, and their caregivers, problem behaviors can also be a source of stress for teachers. However, less is known on which exact behaviors are perceived as how stressful in special needs schools for students with intellectual disabilities. Using paper-pencil questionnaires, 295 special needs school teachers (47.81 years, SD = 10.49; 83.4% female) in Switzerland provided information on how stressful (from 0 = not stressful to 3 = very stressful) they perceived different types of students’ problem behaviors. The 93 behavior descriptions stemmed from the Developmental Behavior Checklist (Einfeld & Tonge, 2002). Results suggest that behaviors endangering the individual student or others, such as kicking, hitting, biting, or suicidal talk, were rated as most stressful. Behaviors from the domain of disruptive/antisocial behaviors were reported as the greatest and behaviors from the domain of anxious behaviors as the smallest sources of stress. Implications for work-related stress prevention in relation to different types of student problem behaviors for special needs school teachers are discussed.
Faculté des lettres
Département de Pédagogie spécialisée
  • English
Special education
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