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Rita J. Casey


Work Stress, perceived social support and coping style were examined to explore the role these factors play in protecting teachers against depression. Overall rates of stress and depression were also examined. This study was conducted with Prekindergarten through12th grade teachers. Participants were recruited through announcements in an e-newsletter and teacher organizations. All data were obtained via an online survey. Teachers reported a high level of work stress, and 33% of teachers reported a significant number of depressive symptoms, which is more than would be expected in a normal population. Stress and Depression were correlated. Problem Solving and Avoidant Coping and perceived social support from Colleagues, Parents of Students, and Administrators were significant related to both work stress and depression, but they only partially mediated the relationship between these two variables. The more individuals that teachers felt they could count on in times of trouble, the fewer symptoms of depression they reported. Although coping and perceived social support seem to offer some protection against depression, they were not sufficient to fully reduce the impact of work stress on depression. Therefore, other possible protective factors should be investigated.

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