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Early childhood teachers' stress and children's social, emotional, and behavioral functioning

Early childhood teachers play a key role in promoting children's social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. We investigated how preschool lead and assistant teachers' personal and job-related stress are, collectively and separately, associated with their perceptions of children's anger-aggression, anxiety-withdrawal, and social competence. Using a sample of 103 teachers from 54 classrooms serving 329 children, we conducted three-level multilevel analyses. Lead and assistant teachers' cumulative personal stress was significantly associated with teachers' evaluations of children's anger-aggression, and cumulative job-related emotional exhaustion was significantly associated with teachers' evaluations of children's anxiety-withdrawal and social competence. Exploring lead and assistant teachers' stress separately, the results showed that lead teachers with higher levels of stress perceived children as having higher levels of anger-aggression and anxiety-withdrawal. On the other hand, assistant teachers' stress was associated with teacher-reported children's social competence. We suggest ways to support children's social, emotional, and behavioral functioning through intervening with teachers' stress. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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