Teacher Stress Inventory

Fimian, M. J., and Fastenau, P. S. (1990). The validity and reliability of the Teacher Stress Inventory: A re-analysis of aggregate data. Journal of Organizational Behavior 11:151–57.


The 49-item Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) assesses occupational stress in teachers. It contains 10 factors; the first five represent sources of stress, whereas the remaining five represent manifestations of teacher stress. The TSI presents evidence of validity and reliability. A Media Specialist Stress Inventory is also available.

Scale Construction:

After reviewing the literature on teacher stress, a list of 135 items was written. Content analyses and editing reduced the number to 63 items. Additional content validation procedures, factor analyses, and tests of internal consistency were conducted, thereby reducing the number to 30 items. Twelve items were added, and then the TSI was administered to four samples. The TSI contained two dimensions: frequency and strength. The revised 41-item TSI was factor analyzed. An oblique six-factor solution was accepted. The number of items remaining was reduced to 38. Alpha coefficients ranged from 0.70 to 0.90.


The total sample consisted of 3,401 teachers from seven states in the eastern United States. These teachers rep- resent 21 different samples. Overall, there were 962 regular education teachers and 2,352 special education teachers. Eighty-seven teachers did not identify themselves as either regular or special education teachers.


Alpha coefficients (Cronbach) for the 10 factors were: 0.75 (professional investment); 0.82 (behavioral manifestations); 0.83 (time management); 0.86 (discipline and motivation); 0.87 (emotional manifestations); 0.80 (work-related stressors); 0.88 (gastronomical manifestations); 0.78 (cardiovascular manifestations; 0.82 (fatigue manifestations); and 0.82 (professional distress). All alpha coefficients were greater than 0.75, and the alpha for the entire inventory was 0.93. Means and standard deviations are presented.


This study reexamined the factor structure and internal consistency of the TSI. Content validity was accom- plished by having 92 experts in the field examine the TSI. Factor analyses were conducted to further refine the TSI.

Factor Analysis:

Principal components factor analyses were conducted as well as oblique and varimax rotations. The results of these analyses yielded 10 factors. The factors are: four items on professional investment (11, 13, 14, and 15); four items on behavioral manifestations (29, 28, 31, and 27); eight items on time management (47, 45, 44, 46, 48, 49, 43, and 42); six items on discipline and motivation (17, 16, 19, 18, 20, and 21); five items on emotional manifestations (22, 24, 23, 25, and 26); six items on work-related stressors (1, 3, 5, 4, 2, and 6); three items on gastronomical manifestations (35, 34, and 39); three items on cardiovascular manifestations (32, 33, and 30); five items on fatigue manifestations (40, 41, 38, 36, and 37); and five items on professional distress (7, 8, 9, 12, and 10). Factor loadings, communalities, alpha reliabilities, means and standard deviations are presented.

Definition of Factors:

Professional investment refers to the feeling of distance that teachers feel on their jobs; it refers to a minimum investment in teaching careers for a variety of reasons. Behavioral manifestations refer to the variety of inappropriate ways that teachers deal with their stress. Time management refers to the “balancing act” features related to teaching. Discipline and motivation refer to two aspects of the teacher-student relationship. Emo- tional manifestations refer to the different ways that teachers respond emotionally to stress. Work-related stressors refer to a variety of environment-specific events that are sources of teacher stress. Gastronomical manifestations refer to a variety of stomach ailments related to teacher stress. Cardiovascular manifestations refer to different cardiovascular problems associated with stress. Fatigue manifestations refer to a variety of fatigue problems as- sociated with stress. Professional distress refers to the ways that teachers see themselves as professionals; it is like a “professional self-concept” scale.


diFate, T. L. (2008). Stress factors of elementary and middle school teachers associated with high stakes testing as required by No Child Left Behind. EdD dissertation, University of Bridgeport.

Gelman, R. B. (2008). Demographic and occupational correlates of stress and burnout among urban school teachers. PsyD disserta- tion, Hofstra University.

Gokalp, G. (2008). Effects of stress on teacher decision making. PhD dissertation, University of Southern California.

Hudson, B. (2005). A comparative investigation of stress and coping among a sample of k–8 educators. PhD dissertation, Loyola University of Chicago.

Morales, B. J. (2010). Selected demographic characteristics and social interest as predictors of teacher stress. EdD dissertation, Louisiana Tech University.

Sacco, M. D. F. (2011). The psychophysiological impact of burnout in special and general education teachers. PhD dissertation, Auburn University.

Teacher Stress Inventory

1. There is little time to prepare for my lessons/responsibilities.
2. My personal priorities are being shortchanged due to time demands.
3. I have too much work to do.
4. My caseload/class is too big.
5. The pace of the school day is too fast.
6. There is too much administrative paperwork in my job.
7. I lack promotion and/or advancement opportunities.
8. I am not progressing in my job as rapidly as I would like.
9. I need more status and respect on my job.
10. I lack recognition for the extra work and/or good teaching I do.
11. My personal opinions are not sufficiently aired.
12. I receive an inadequate salary for the work I do.
13. I lack control over decisions made about classroom/school matters.
14. I am not emotionally/intellectually stimulated on the job.
15. I lack opportunities for professional improvement.

I feel frustrated . . .

16. having to monitor pupil behavior.
17. because of discipline problems in my classroom.
18. attempting to teach students who are poorly motivated.
19. because some students would do better if they tried harder.
20. because of inadequate/poorly defined discipline policies.
21. when my authority is rejected by pupils/ administration.

I respond to stress . . .

22. by feeling insecure.
23. by feeling unable to cope.
24. by feeling vulnerable.
25. by feeling depressed.
26. by feeling anxious.
27. by calling in sick.
28. by using prescription drugs.
29. by using over-the-counter drugs.
30. with rapid and/or shallow breath.
31. by using alcohol.
32. with feeling increased blood pressure.
33. with feelings of heart pounding or racing.
34. with stomach pain of extended duration.
35. with stomach cramps.
36. with physical exhaustion.
37. with physical weakness.
38. by becoming fatigued in a very short time.
39. with stomach acid.
40. by sleeping more than usual.
41. by procrastinating.
42. I rush in my speech.
43. There isn’t enough time to get things done.
44. I have to try doing more than one thing at a time.
45. I become impatient if others do things too slowly.
46. I have little time to relax and enjoy the time of day.
47. I easily overcommit myself.
48. I think about unrelated matters during conversations.
49. I feel uncomfortable wasting time.


No Strength; not noticeable; not applicable = 1; Mild Strength; barely noticeable = 2; Medium Strength; moderately noticeable = 3; Great Strength; very noticeable = 4; and Major Strength; extremely noticeable = 5.