The role of school stress in the precipitation of mental breakdown in teachers

Kelly, Anthony and Hargate, Craig (2003) The role of school stress in the precipitation of mental breakdown in teachers At International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement. 05 - 08 Jan 2003.


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A review of recent statistics regarding the rates of ill-health retirement in teachers demonstrates that an alarmingly large numbers of teachers are having to retire from the teaching profession due to mental ill-health (Bowers and McIver, 2000). This paper reports on research that examined the role of school stress in the development of psychological ill-health in teachers leading to permanently incapability. The research used a nationwide (England), retrospective case-control design. The case group consisted of 50 ill-health retirees, and the control group of 50 healthy practising teachers matched on the four variables of age, gender, school type and job title. All subjects were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV Axis I Disorders and the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule. The case subjects were interviewed about the levels of stress that they experienced in the 6 months preceding the onset of their illness to the point where they became permanently incapable of teaching; the control group were interviewed over a matched time frame. The nature, frequency and severity of stressors experienced by the two groups in this recall period were then compared.
This study made use of the established epidemiological concepts of Relative Risk and Population Attributable Risk. These were then used to estimate the magnitude of the contribution from school stress (firstly) to the onset of mental illness and (secondly) to the progression of such illness to the point where some participants were rendered permanently incapable of teaching. In addition, the Brought Forward Time Index was used to infer the nature of that contribution.
The research was carried out using General Medical Council (England) ethical guidelines (Psychiatry).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Venue - Dates: International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, 2003-01-05 - 2003-01-08
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Keywords: ill-health retirement, stress, teachers, uk

ePrint ID: 48691
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 18:22
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