Perceived stress, coping self-efficacy and adaptive coping strategies of South African teachers
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In this Master’s study, the perceived stress of a group of Gauteng teachers, their sense of coping self-efficacy, and their adaptive coping strategies, specifically the statistical relationships between these variables, were investigated. In the literature overview (Chapter 1), the theoretical conceptualization and models or frameworks of stress, coping and self-efficacy constructs, were described. In the exposition, the context of this study namely the stress-laden South African educational sector, was stipulated. Research findings on the stress of South African teachers, their coping strategies in attempting to deal with the stress encountered, and their sense of self-efficacy were articulated. From this literature exploration, the research question emerged as: Would a sense of self-efficacy and using adaptive coping strategies have significant influence on the perceived stress levels of teachers, in other words what are the relationships between perceived stress, a sense of self-efficacy and the coping strategies of South African teachers? The following section described the research methodology of the study including research design, participants and procedures, data collection, data analyses, and ethical aspects considered. The research report (Chapter 2), was presented by means of two manuscripts that would later be submitted for publication in appropriate subject-related journals. Manuscript 1: In this study, the relationships between the perceived stress, a sense of coping self-efficacy, and the adaptive coping strategies of teachers in Gauteng, South Africa, were investigated. The N=283 teachers completed the Perceived Stress Scale or PSS (Cohen & Williamson, 1988), the Coping Self-efficacy Scale or CSES (Chesney et al., 2006), and the Coping Strategy Inventory or COPE (Carver, 1997). Descriptive statistics, reliabilities of factors representing the scales, and correlations between the factors were calculated. With Mplus 8.1 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2016) a measurement model was specified and tested for best statistical fit. On the best fitting measurement model, a structural model was based and also tested for statistical fit. Statistical path coefficients indicated the direct and indirect pathways of perceived stress and coping self-efficacy to adaptive coping strategies. Thereafter, by means of the bootstrapping method, it was determined that coping self-efficacy, through perceived stress, had an indirect effect on the adaptive coping strategies of teachers. The findings, as well as limitations of the study, were described and discussed. All research aims were met. Manuscript 2: In this study, the latent profiles of teachers based on their perceived stress and adaptive coping strategies were analysed and their coping self-efficacy was used to predict profile membership. The N=283 teachers from Gauteng, South Africa, completed the PSS of Cohen and Williamson (1988), the Brief COPE of Carver (1997), and the CSES of Chesney et al. (2006). By means of Mplus 8.1 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2016) latent profile analysis was done and three profiles were specified, namely moderately coping teachers (48.6%), non-coping teachers (12%), and coping well teachers (39.4%). Regression coefficients for the latent variables significantly showed that teachers who cope well will likely use problem-solving coping self-efficacy, and those who do not cope will likely use emotional coping self-efficacy. No significant differences were found in the coping self-efficacy of moderately coping teachers compared to coping well teachers. The findings were described and discussed, and limitations of the study were indicated. The aims of the study were met. In the final chapter, conclusions and recommendations flowing from the study were made. In conclusion, the research question of the overall study and the two sub-studies were answered, aims were met, and valid findings were reported.
- Health Sciences