Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Professor Trevor Turner


The purpose of this study was to examine the occupational stress experienced by elementary school, special education teachers in relationship to selected demographic and school factors: age, tenure in present position, type of exceptionality, mode of delivery as well as organizational support, professional task/role responsibility, personal coping capabilities, respectively. Additionally, the study sought to examine the occupational stress levels of the special education teachers.

Participants included 71 elementary special education teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools (grades K-5). The Burnout Assessment Inventory and [adjusted] demographics response sheet (Clouse, 1982) was used to secure data on all variables. Statistical procedures used were the Correlational Analysis (Pearson r) and the 1 2 Multiple Regression Analysis. Tests of significance were set at the .05 level of confidence.

The major findings of this study were: (a) a significant relationship was found to exist between personal coping capabilities and occupational stress; (b) no significant relationships were found to exist between occupational stress and the following: age, tenure in present position, type of delivery mode, type of exceptionality, organizational support, and professional task/role responsibilities; (c) personal coping capabilities had the greatest effect on occupational stress; and (d) the teachers of the hearing impaired, physically handicapped, speech/language impaired and learning disabled exhibited higher levels of occupational stress.

Recommendations were made that: (a) other variables be identified that may be significantly related to occupational stress, (b) more research is needed to determine how people acquire coping strategies, (c) special educators and other administrators provide more support for the teachers of physically handicapped students, and (d) special educators and other educational administrators seek means to help special education teachers to strengthen their levels of coping skills.

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