An investigation into female kindergarten teachers' stress in Saudi Arabia
This study considers stress in kindergarten teachers. It investigates the level and
negative effects of that stress, common sources of stress, strategies employed by
teachers for relieving stress at work, and finally the teachers' suggestions for reducing
stress. The study was conducted within kindergartens in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, using
quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection. Quantitative data were
derived from questionnaires which were administered to a representative sample of
kindergarten teachers (135 public and 123 private), while qualitative data were
gathered through interviews with 24 kindergarten teachers, and supported by
classroom observations. Interviews with headteachers and inspectors of the
kindergartens were conducted to form a more complete picture.
Over 90% of the sample stated that working as a kindergarten teacher was either
moderately or very stressful. The study determined that some sources of stress are
contingent on being kindergarten teachers in Saudi Arabia, other sources are shared
with teachers in other stages, and still others are related to working women in general.
The coping strategies are categorised as palliative or direct, and are examined for
The prevalence and level of stress, the wide variety of its causes, and its serious
effects on the teachers themselves are assessed. These are related to the general
school atmosphere, friction among employees, and effects upon the children, which in
tum could impede their progress at subsequent stages. The study concludes with
recommendations with regard to kindergarten teaching, school buildings and working
women generally in Saudi Arabia.