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Vulnerability to stress, coping strategies and self-efficiency among Portuguese teachers

In this work we present a research carried out on teachers to determine their vulnerability to stress, to identify the main sources of stress, to recognize teachers' main coping strategies, to analyze whether such strategies condition the presence of stress at work, and to establish whether the self-efficiency perceived can be used to predict work stress. This is a correlational questionnaire-based research performed on a 54-teacher sample from Portugal's public basic education schools. The answers to the Social, Demographic and Professional Questionnaire, to the Stress Vulnerability Questionnaire - 23QVS (Serra, 2000), to the Teacher Stress Questionnaire - QSP (Gomes et al., 2006; Gomes, 2007), to the Coping Job Scale - CJS (Latack, adapted by Jesus and Pereira, 1994) and to the General Self-efficiency Assessment Scale (Ribeiro, 1995) reveal that 20.4% of teachers are vulnerable to stress. The study shows that the main stress sources are found in students' lack of discipline or improper behaviour, and that control strategies are the most common to deal with stress, followed by escape strategies and symptom management. Teachers not vulnerable to stress use mainly control strategies and they display higher efficiency levels under adversity, as well as more initiative and perseverance than the teachers that are vulnerable to stress.

Stress; Coping; Self-efficiency; Teachers

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