Links Between Stress, Positive and Negative Affect, and Life Satisfaction Among Teachers in Special Education Schools

Research paper by Liat Hamama, Tammie Ronen, Keren Shachar, Michael Rosenbaum

Indexed on: 18 May '12Published on: 18 May '12Published in: Journal of happiness studies


This study focused on links between stress, positive and negative affect, and life satisfaction among teachers in special education schools. Teaching is a highly stressful profession, characterized by high rate of stress, burnout, and dropout. The study investigated: (a) whether teachers can maintain their positive affect and life satisfaction despite the stress they experience, and (b) the resources that may elicit positive affect and life satisfaction, including self-control as a personal skill and perceived organizational support (by peers, therapeutic staff, and manager) as an environmental resource. Participants were 125 teachers from 12 different special education schools. As expected, a positive link emerged between high stress levels and negative affect. Both self-control and organizational social support contributed to the explanation of positive affect and life satisfaction. Organizational support was found to moderate the link between stress and negative affect as well as the link between stress and positive affect and life satisfaction among teachers. The outcomes contributed both to the theoretical explanation about the role of resources in eliciting subjective well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction and also to the way teachers can be helped in daily coping with their difficulties.