Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Lynne Cohen

Abstract

This study seeks to examine how teachers cope with the demands of teaching students with and without learning difficulties (LD) in mainstream classrooms. The relationship between psychological coping and teachers stress, self efficacy and adaptiveness was examined in a sample of 151 mainstream primary school teachers from Perth, Western Australia. Teaching experience ranged from 1 to 35 years. Three multiple regression analyses were conducted using the psychological constructs of problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping and avoidant coping as criterion variables. Results indicated that, time management, professional investment, and instructional practices were predictors of problem-focused coping; work related stress was a predictor of emotion-focused coping; while student discipline and motivation, and years of teaching were predictors of avoidant coping. No significant relationship was found between psychological coping and adaptiveness. Limitations were noted in relation to the nature of a convience sample and self report. The results indicated that it is necessary to match coping resources such as self efficacy and adaptiveness with respective coping strategies as each construct may influence coping strategies separately. The findings from this study add quantitative strength to the existing body of qualitative knowledge.

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