Stress in higher education teachers

a holistic perspective

  • Susana Barros Fonseca Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Escola Superior de Educação, Viseu, Portugal
  • Filomena Jordão Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação, Departamento de Psicologia, Centro de Psicologia da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Keywords: occupational stress, holistic model, higher education teachers


Introduction The reality of portuguese higher education has been undergoing significant transformations, which have determined the increase of stress of its teachers. The performance of teaching functions in higher education is associated with various requirements, which in many cases causes occupational stress. Occupational stress reflects, from a transactional perspective, the imbalance that a person perceives between certain job demands and their ability to respond to them and incorporates, according to the holistic stress model, both positive (eustress) and negative (distress) responses to work stress agents, with positive and negative repercussions, respectively, on job satisfaction. Few studies have been developed on occupational stress, from a holistic perspective, and its relationship with job satisfaction of higher education teachers. 

Objectives: With the purpose of deepening knowledge about the stress of higher education teachers, this study aims to evaluate the quality of the adjustment of the holistic stress model in Portuguese higher education teachers. 

Methods: Data were collected from 439 higher education teachers in Portugal through a questionnaire designed for this purpose. 

Results: The results point to a good fit quality of the proposed model (χ2(387)= 2117.683; p= 0.000; χ2/gl= 5.472; NFI= 0.89; PNFI= 0.79; CFI= 0.91; PCFI= 0.81; RMSEA= 0.10). 

Conclusions: The results allowed us to draw a holistic model of stress and job satisfaction in higher education teachers, which presents a good adjustment and which, in view of the theoretical model initially proposed, presents some changes. 


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Education and Social Development Sciences