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.
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