An Exploration of Irish Teachers' Experiences of Stress

Dearbhail E Buckley, David W F Abbott, John Franey

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Only limited research is available on teacher stress in Ireland. This study explores teachers’ individual experiences of stress, the supports they recommend in schools to help them cope with stress and any differences apparent in stress levels based on experience: a) working as a primary or secondary teacher and b) working as a recently qualified or experienced teacher. It utilises interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to do so. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted which suggested that teachers have different interpretations of stress and an influencing factor in teacher stress is the self. The teachers recommended a range of supports to help reduce stress, including support from professionals, collaboration and recreational activities. Although all of the teachers experienced stress to varying degrees, stress levels varied depending on experience, due to a range of different factors. These factors included relationships, lack of control and power, and identity. One recommendation is that educational psychologists collaborate with school staff on the area of stress management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages21
JournalIrish Journal of Applied Social Studies
Issue number1
Early online date17 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Stress
  • primary teachers
  • secondary teachers
  • supports
  • experience
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)


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