K-12 Teachers work stress: a systematic review of journal articles published from 2011 to 2022

Main Article Content

Yohannes Bisa Biramo
Zhenhong Wang


This study reviewed research papers in the Web of Science database published between 2011 and 2022. The review synthesized K–12 teacher work stress literature and summarized methods and limitations to analyse trends in the area. The review showed that the basic contents investigated in the published articles are stress copying strategies, stress reduction interventions, and the effects of work stress on teachers' personal characteristics. Besides, a limited number of studies on K–12 teacher’s work stress were also observed. In terms of research methods, a significant proportion of published papers employed quantitative research methodologies, followed by qualitative and mixed-method studies. Most of the reviewed articles were conducted in elementary and secondary schools in conjunction. Self-report methods are only suited for assessing teachers' subjective psychological stress, not biological stress. Further studies should integrate subjective and biological stress measurements using ambulatory assessment methods to analyse stress in authentic educational settings.

Article Details

How to Cite
Yohannes Bisa Biramo, & Zhenhong Wang. (2024). K-12 Teachers work stress: a systematic review of journal articles published from 2011 to 2022. Al-Qanṭara. Retrieved from http://alqantarajournal.com/index.php/Journal/article/view/508


Akçayır, G., & Akçayır, M. (2018). The flipped classroom: A review of its advantages and challenges. Computers & Education, 126, 334–345. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.07.021

Alp, N. (2001). The lean transformation model for the education system. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-lean-transformation-model-for-the-education-Alp/87a1cc2b422cc214339b65f796d461292feefeca

Bjørndal, K. E. W., Antonsen, Y., & Jakhelln, R. (2022). Stress-coping Strategies amongst Newly Qualified Primary and Lower Secondary School Teachers with a Master’s Degree in Norway. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 66(7), 1253–1268. https://doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2021.1983647

Bottiani, J. H., Duran, C. A. K., Pas, E. T., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2019). Teacher stress and burnout in urban middle schools: Associations with job demands, resources, and effective classroom practices. Journal of School Psychology, 77, 36–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2019.10.002

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 11(4), 589–597. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2019.1628806

Campbell, J., & Ehlert, U. (2012). Acute psychosocial stress: Does the emotional stress response correspond with physiological responses? Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(8), 1111–1134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.12.010

Carroll, A., Flynn, L., O’Connor, E. S., Forrest, K., Bower, J., Fynes-Clinton, S., York, A., & Ziaei, M. (2020). In their words: listening to teachers’ perceptions about stress in the workplace and how to address it. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 49(4), 420–434. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866x.2020.1789914

Chan, A. H. S., Chen, K., & Chong, E. Y. L. (2010). Work stress of teachers from primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong. Proceedings of the International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2010, IMECS 2010, 1903–1906. https://scholars.cityu.edu.hk/en/publications/work-stress-of-teachers-from-primary-and-secondary-schools-in-hong-kong(cead7d3e-92f6-4e22-a5f9-72a1e41afdf5).html

Chang, M.-L. (2013). Toward a theoretical model to understand teacher emotions and teacher burnout in the context of student misbehavior: Appraisal, regulation and coping. Motivation and Emotion, 37(4), 799–817. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-012-9335-0

Chaudhuri, S., Muhonen, H., Pakarinen, E., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2022). Teachers’ Focus of Attention in First-grade Classrooms: Exploring Teachers Experiencing Less and More Stress Using Mobile Eye-tracking. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 66(6). https://doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2021.1958374

De Nobile, J. (2016). Organisational communication and its relationships with occupational stress of primary school staff in Western Australia. Australian Educational Researcher, 43(2), 185–201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-015-0197-9

De Nobile, J. J., & McCormick, J. (2010). Occupational stress of Catholic primary school staff: a study of biographical differences. International Journal of Educational Management, 24(6), 492–506. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513541011067674

Duman, G., Orhon, G., & Gedik, N. (2015). Research trends in mobile assisted language learning from 2000 to 2012. ReCALL, 27(2), 197–216. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344014000287

Ehlert, U. (2015). Was ist Verhaltensmedizin? Springer-Lehrbuch, 3–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-48035-9_1

Gluschkoff, K., Elovainio, M., Kinnunen, U., Mullola, S., Hintsanen, M., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., & Hintsa, T. (2016). Work stress, poor recovery and burnout in teachers. Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England), 66(7), 564–570. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqw086

Goldstein, E. B. (2014). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience. Cengage Learning.

Holloway, I., & Todres, L. (2003). The Status of Method: Flexibility, Consistency and Coherence. Qualitative Research, 3(3), 345–357. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794103033004

Howard, J. T., & Howard, K. J. (2020). The effect of perceived stress on absenteeism and presenteeism in public school teachers. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 35(2), 100–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/15555240.2020.1724794

Huang, H.-C., Liu, L.-W., Hsieh, H.-H., & Chang, C.-M. (2015). Relationships Among Physical Education Teachers’ Psychological Capital, Work Stress, And Creative Teaching. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 14(6), 744–752. https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/15.14.744

Johnson, S. M., Reinhorn, S., Charner-Laird, M., Kraft, M., Ng, M., & Papay, J. P. (2014). Ready to Lead, but How? Teachers’ Experiences in High-Poverty Urban Schools. Teachers College Record: The Voice of Scholarship in Education, 116(10), 1–50. https://doi.org/10.1177/016146811411601005

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2013). Full catastrophe living, revised edition: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation. Hachette uK. https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iedJAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT14&ots=j_8IsFtBEH&sig=yDBPsRGO3RxaSoRLtcHh9fj_-J4

Kidger, J., Brockman, R., Tilling, K., Campbell, R., Ford, T., Araya, R., King, M., & Gunnell, D. (2016). Teachers’ wellbeing and depressive symptoms, and associated risk factors: A large cross sectional study in English secondary schools. Journal of Affective Disorders, 192, 76–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.11.054

Klassen, R., Wilson, E., Siu, A. F. Y., Hannok, W., Wong, M. W., Wongsri, N., Sonthisap, P., Pibulchol, C., Buranachaitavee, Y., & Jansem, A. (2013). Preservice teachers’ work stress, self-efficacy, and occupational commitment in four countries. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28(4), 1289–1309. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-012-0166-x

Kokkinos, C. M. (2007). Job stressors, personality and burnout in primary school teachers. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(Pt 1), 229–243. https://doi.org/10.1348/000709905X90344

Lanner, M. (2010). Contributing factors to teacher satisfaction for Jewish day school educators. https://repository.yu.edu/handle/20.500.12202/1175

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer Pub. Co. http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S9780826141927

Lensen, J. H., Stoltz, S. E. M. J., Kleinjan, M., Speckens, A. E. M., Kraiss, J. T., & Scholte, R. H. J. (2021). Mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention for elementary school teachers: A mixed method study. Trials, 22(1), 826. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05804-6

Li, Y., & Zhang, R.-C. (2019). Kindergarten teachers’ work stress and work-related well-being: A moderated mediation model. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 47(11), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.8409

Maudgalya, T., Wallace, S., Daraiseh, N., & Salem, S. (2006). Workplace stress factors and ‘burnout’ among information technology professionals: A systematic review. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 7(3), 285–297. https://doi.org/10.1080/14639220500090638

OECD. (2020). TALIS 2018 Results (Volume II): Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/talis-2018-results-volume-ii_19cf08df-en

Ouzzani, M., Hammady, H., Fedorowicz, Z., & Elmagarmid, A. (2016). Rayyan—A web and mobile app for systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews, 5(1), 210. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-016-0384-4

Paquette, K. R., & Rieg, S. A. (2016). Stressors and coping strategies through the lens of Early Childhood/Special Education pre-service teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 57, 51–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.03.009

Prado-Gascó, V., de la Barrera, U., Sancho-Castillo, S., de la Rubia-Ortí, J. E., & Montoya-Castilla, I. (2019). Perceived stress and reference ranges of hair cortisol in healthy adolescents. PloS One, 14(4), e0214856. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214856

R Core Team. (2020). R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing | BibSonomy. https://www.bibsonomy.org/bibtex/7469ffee3b07f9167cf47e7555041ee7

Renshaw, T. L., Long, A. C. J., & Cook, C. R. (2015). Assessing teachers’ positive psychological functioning at work: Development and validation of the Teacher Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire. School Psychology Quarterly, 30(2), 289–306. https://doi.org/10.1037/spq0000112

Riezebos, J., & Huisman, B. (2020). Value stream mapping in education: Addressing work stress. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 38(4), 1044–1061. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQRM-05-2019-0145

Sapolsky, R. M. (2004). Why zebras don’t get ulcers: The acclaimed guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping (3rd ed.). New York: Henry Holt.

Sidek Z., Surat S., Kutty F.M. Student misbehaviour in classrooms at secondary schools and the relationship with teacher job well-being. Int. J. Psychosoc. Rehabil. 2020; 24:5373–5380. doi: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I6/PR260535.

Skinner, B., Leavey, G., & Rothi, D. (2019). Managerialism and teacher professional identity: Impact on wellbeing among teachers in the UK. Educational Review, 73(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2018.1556205

Steinhardt, M. A., Smith Jaggars, S. E., Faulk, K. E., & Gloria, C. T. (2011). Chronic Work Stress and Depressive Symptoms: Assessing the Mediating Role of Teacher Burnout. Stress and Health, 27(5), 420–429. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.1394