Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy - School Psychology


Human Sciences

First Advisor

Luis Aguerrevere, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nina Ellis-Hervey, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Frankie Clark, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Daniel F. McCleary, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Freddie L. Avant, Ph.D.


Research has shown that people in the teaching profession have high levels of stress and often report increased levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Students’ academic progress may have adverse effects when their teachers have high-stress levels or report mental distress. Those who teach special education often face high levels of stress. However, there is little research considering special education teachers’ job-related health. This study collected data on 598 general and special education teachers in the United States. This study compared the endorsements of both stress and psychopathology between special education and general education teachers. This research found that both general and special education teachers demonstrate high levels of stress. However, special education teachers did have significantly higher levels stress. Interestingly, there was no difference in the levels of burnout between the two groups of teachers. High teaching-related stress levels predicted measured symptoms of anxiety and depression in both special and general education teachers. The special education teachers in this study did have higher rates of psychopathology diagnosis and symptoms. The perceived support and the respondents’ quality of life were also considered. There was no significant difference between the groups, although the perceptions of support were significantly poor. Suggestions for possible improvement in teachers’ mental health and stress include seeking to determine why special education teachers have a similar burnout rate as their counterparts and if the surface acting and deep acting reported by Yilmaz (2015) affect the rates of burnout.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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