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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


ALVES, Maria Neves  and  OLIVEIRA, Eusébio Augusto Medeiros de. The effect of unemployment on the stress levels of the secondary school teachers and strategies for coping with it. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2008, vol.9, n.2, pp.335-347. ISSN 1645-0086.

Unemployment is one of the scourges of modern society and teachers are among the professional categories most affected by it. This situation gives rise to social and psychological consequences with repercussions on an individual's health. The objective of this study is to understand the nature of the stress and how teachers cope with it. The sample consisted of 100 secondary school teachers in Northern Portugal, 50 of whom were unemployed and 50 who were actively teaching, each group being equally divided in gender (25 men and 25 women). The teachers in the first group had either been made unemployed or were still waiting to enter the profession. The instruments used for the purposes of evaluation were the Toulouse Stress Scale (TSS) to measure the level of stress and the Toulouse Coping Scale (TCS) to determine the strategies used to deal with it. The results showed that teachers who are unemployed or whose entry into the profession has been delayed, suffer increased stress in comparison with teachers practising their profession. The nature of the stress can be summarised as: socio-emotional tension, physical tension and depression, physical perturbations and agitation. Both groups demonstrated increased stress with regard to the future, tiredness and temporary anguish. There were no differences between men and women, though the youngest individuals demonstrated significantly higher levels of stress than the older teachers. The strategy of coping most employed by unemployed teachers is withdrawing from society to reduce stress.

Keywords : Coping; Unemployment; Stress.

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