The present study focuses on the level of stress male and female teachers perceive when dealing with the most behaviorally challenging student in his or her classroom. To measure stress in Dutch elementary classrooms, a sample was drawn of 582 teachers. First, they rated the most challenging student in their classroom on six different behavioral components:
Against the grain, Full of activity/Easily distractible, Needs a lot of attention/Week student, Easily upset, Failuresyndrome/Excessively perfectionist, and Aggressive/Hostile. Teachers then scored perceived stress as a result of this challenging behavior.
Two questions concerning gender relations in class rooms will be addressed. Do female and male teachers select the same type of behaviorally challenging students as the most challenging? And: do they perceive the same level of stress? Our data shows that female teachers do indeed report significantly more incidence of challenging behavior, but no evidence is found for differences between stress levels of male and female teachers.