CE  Vol.1 No.3 , December 2010
Appraisal of School-Based Stressors by Fourth-Grade Children: A Mixed Method Approach
ABSTRACT
This study examined appraisals of school-based stressors made by fourth-grade students. A mixed method approach was taken. School-based stressors were identified through focus group discussions and categorized into four domains (Academic, Peer Interaction, Teacher Interaction, and Discipline) through content analysis. A stress inventory was then constructed and administered to 54 fourth-grade students to assess the prominence of the identified stressor domains as well as any relationships between the stressor domains, academic standing, and gender. Results indicated that, on average, Peer Interaction and Discipline stressors were rated significantly higher than Academic and Teacher Interaction stressors. Furthermore, concerning all academic ability groups, girls rated stressors in all domains higher than boys. This higher rating proved to be significant for girls compared to boys with average academic ability regarding Peer Interaction stressors. The challenge for educators and policy makers is to identify situations that lead to stress as early as possible and design coping programs that will facilitate healthy development.

Cite this paper
nullAgrawal, A. , Garg, R. & Urajnik, D. (2010). Appraisal of School-Based Stressors by Fourth-Grade Children: A Mixed Method Approach. Creative Education, 1, 196-201. doi: 10.4236/ce.2010.13029.
References
[1]   Barrett, S., & Heubeck, B. G. (2000). Relationships between school hassles and uplifts and anxiety and conduct problems in grades 3 and 4. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21, 537-554.

[2]   doi:10.1016/S0193-3973(00)00053-8

[3]   Bauwens, J., & Hourcade, J. J. (1992). School-based sources of stress among elementary and secondary at-risk students. The School Counselor, 40, 97-102.

[4]   Blom, G. E., & Cheney, B. D., & Snoddy, J. E. (1986). Stress in childhood: An intervention model for teachers and other professionals. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.

[5]   Carson, K., Swanson, D., Cooney, M., Gillum, B., & Cunningham, D. (1992). Stress and coping as predictors of young children’s development and psychosocial adjustment. Child Study Journal, 22, 273-301.

[6]   Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed method research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

[7]   D’Aurora, D. L., & Fimian, M. J. (1988). Dimensions of life and school stress experienced by young people. Psychology in the Schools, 25, 44-53. doi:10.1002/1520-6807(198801)25:1<44::AID-PITS231025- 0108>3.0.CO;2-7

[8]   DeWolfe, A. S. (1995). Stress reduction in sixth-grade students. Journal of Experimental Education, 63, 315-329. doi:10.1080/00220973. 1995.9943467

[9]   Dubow, E. F., Schmidt, J. M., McBride, J. & Edwards, S.(1993). Teaching children to cope with stressful experiences: Initial implementation and evaluation of a primary prevention program. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22, 428-440. doi:10.1207/s15374424 jccp2204_3

[10]   Elias, M. J., Gara, M., Clabby, J. F., & Schuyler, T. (1986). Impact of a preventive social problem solving intervention on children’s coping with middle-school stressors. American Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 259-275. doi:10.1007/BF00911174

[11]   Fairbank, D. T., & Hough, R. T. (1979). Life event classifications and event illness relationship. Journal of Human Stress, 5, 41-47.

[12]   Gable, R. K., Ludlow, L. H., & Wolf, M. B. (1990). The use of classical and Rasch latent trait models to enhance the validity of affective measures. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 50, 869- 878. doi:10.1177/0013164490504017

[13]   Geisthardt, C., & Munsch, J. (1996). Coping with school stress: A comparison of adolescents with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29, 287-296. doi:10.1177/002221 949602900307

[14]   Grannis, J. C. (1992). Students’ stress, distress, and achievement in an urban intermediate school. Journal of Early Adolescence, 12, 4-27. doi:10.1177/0272431692012001001

[15]   Greene, A. L. (1988). Early adolescents’ perceptions of stress. Journal of Early Adolescence, 8, 391-403. doi:10.1177/0272431688084006

[16]   Gunnar, M., & Quevedo, K. (2007). The neurobiology of stress and development. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 145-173.

[17]   doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085605

[18]   Helms, B. J., & Gable, R. K. (1989). School situation survey. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.

[19]   Heubeck, B., & O’Sullivan, C. (1998). An exploration into the nature, frequency and impact of school hassles in the middle school years. Australian Psychologist, 33, 130-137.

[20]   doi:10.1080/0005006980 8257394

[21]   Humphrey, J. H. (1990). Research on childhood stress in the home and family, and school environments. In J. H. Humphrey (Ed.), Human stress: Current selected research (Vol. 4). New York: AMS Press.

[22]   Johns, B., & Johns, M. (1983). Stress: It burns out kids too. Learning, 11, 48-49.

[23]   Jones-Sears, S., & Milburn, J. (1990). School-age stress. In L. E. Arnold (Ed.), Childhood stress. New York: Wiley & Sons.

[24]   Karr, S. K., & Johnson, P. (1991). School stress reported by children in grades 4, 5, and 6. Psychological Reports, 68, 427-431. doi:10.2466/ PR0.68.2.427-431

[25]   Kraag, G., Zeegers, M. P., Kok, G.; Hosman, C., & Abu-Saad, H. H. (2006). School programs targeting stress management in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 449-472. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2006.07.001

[26]   Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Academic Press.

[27]   Lazarus, R. S., & Launier, R. (1978). Stress-related transaction between person and environment. In L. A. Pervin & M. Lewis (Eds.), Perspectives in interactional psychology, pp. 287-327. New York: Plenum.

[28]   Meadows, S. O., Brown, J. S., & Elder Jr. G. H. (2006). Depressive symptoms, stress, and support: Gendered Trajectories from ado- lescence to young adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 93-103. doi:10.1007/s10964-005-9021-6

[29]   Newcomb, M., Huba, C., & Bentler, P. (1981). A multidimensional assessment of stressful life events among adolescents: Derivation and correlates. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 22, 400-414. doi:10.2307/2136681

[30]   Omizo, M. M., Omizo, S. A., & Suzuki, L. A. (1988). Children and stress: An exploratory study of stressors and symptoms. The School Counselor, 35, 267-274.

[31]   Pareek, U. (1997). Role stress and coping: A framework. In D.M. Pestonjee & U. Pareek (Eds.), Studies in organizational role stress and coping (pp. 109-115). Jaipur: Rawat.

[32]   Phillips, B. N. (1978). School stress and anxiety: Theory, research, and intervention. New York: Human Science Press.

[33]   Piekarska, A. (2000). School stress, teachers’ abusive behaviors, and children’s coping strategies. Child Abuse and Neglect, 24, 1443- 1449. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(00)00201-5

[34]   Schultz, E. W., & Heuchert, C. W. (1983). Child stress and school experience. New York: Human Science Press.

[35]   Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. pp. 4-88, New York: McGraw-Hill.

[36]   Stewart, D.W., & Shamdasani, P. N. (1990). Focus groups: Theory and practice. Applied social research methods series, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

[37]   Swearingen, E., & Cohen, L. (1985). Life events and psychological distress: A prospective study of young adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 21, 1045-1054. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.21.6.1045

[38]   Veno, A., & Davidson, M. J. (1978). A relational model of stress and adaptation. Man-Environment System, 8, 75-89.

 
 
Top