Kimberly Nizolek

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology




College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

DiHoff, Roberta


Special education teachers--Job stress;Mentally ill teenagers


Special Education and Teaching | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


The purpose of this study was to evaluate teacher stress and its effect on negative student behaviors in an alternative school setting. Teacher stress is defined as a negative state held by a teacher that includes unpleasant emotions, such as anger or sadness, as a result of their work and it appears when events and responsibilities exceed one's coping mechanisms (Kyriacou, 2001; Lazarus, 1993). Teachers working in alternative schools may report a high level of stress based off of their working environment. When teachers feel stressed, they may not be able to provide the necessary support to their students to succeed in the classroom (Kipps-Vaughan, 2013). It is important for students to have a high quality student-teacher relationship in order for them to achieve academic success (Spilt, Koomen, & Thijs, 2011). Students' negative behavior in the classroom has been associated consistently with teacher stress and burnout (Blase, 1986; Geving, 2007; Yoon, 2002; Borg and Riding, 1991; Brouwers & Tomic, 2000; Evers et al., 2004; Gable et al., 2009; Hastings & Bham, 2003; Kokkinos, 2007; Kyriacou, 2001; Lewis, 1999; Sutton & Wheatley, 2003; Tsouloupas et al., 2010). Although there is an abundant amount of research on how students' behaviors affect teachers' stress levels, there is not much research that deals with how teachers' stress affects students' behaviors in the classroom (Geving, 2007).