Methods: Data were leveraged from two complementary observational systems, the ASSIST (Assessing School Settings: Interactions of Students and Teachers; Rusby et al., 2001), which tallied student disruptive behaviors, and CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System; Pianta et al., 2008), which provided insight on teachers’ regard for adolescent perspectives, a construct that features a number of culturally responsive teaching strategies (i.e., making real life connections to the curriculum, centering adolescent voice, and supporting autonomy). We hypothesized that teachers with higher levels of self-reported stress would have classrooms with more observed student disruptive behaviors, which in turn would be associated with less observed regard for adolescent perspectives. We further hypothesized that the association between stress and disruptive behaviors would be mediated by teachers’ behavior management efficacy. These associations were examined using structural equation modeling (SEM) mediation analyses with bootstrapping on data from 192 teachers and classrooms with 88% Black racial composition in 33 urban middle schools.
Results: The SEM analyses indicated that the association between self-reported teacher stress and observed regard for adolescent perspectives was mediated by observations of student disruptive behaviors (c [total effect] = -0.13, p = .030; indirect effect = -0.05, p = .019; c’ [direct effect] = -0.08, ns). Moreover, the association between teacher stress and disruptive behaviors was mediated by teachers’ behavior management efficacy (c = 3.36, p = .005; indirect effect = 1.29, p = .022; c’ = 2.07, ns).
Conclusions: This study is intended to inform our understanding of teacher stress and their use of effective teaching practices with urban, primarily Black adolescents. Findings indicate that teacher stress is linked to lower regard for adolescent perspectives and that student disruptive behaviors and teachers’ behavior management efficacy play important mediating roles. This research may inform future professional development models, particularly those targeting educational disparities.