Die Überprüfung der transaktionalen Stresstheorie im Lehramtsreferendariat
Aim of the study is to test the transactional theory of stress of Richard S. Lazarus (1966; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). The theory defines stress as a transaction between a person and his or her environment. Central to the theory are assumptions about the structural relations of the model components and about changes of these variables over time. Until now, empirical studies did not consider structure and the process at the same time. The present study tests the transactional theory of stress on
... he basis of one cross-sectional (Study 1, N = 645) and one longitudinal (Study 2, N = 398) survey in the context of the practical training of German student schoolteachers. All central components of the stress theory were measured using a standardized questionnaire. Analyses of Study 1 are based on structural equation modeling. Data of Study 2 were analyzed using the autoregressive latent trajectory model of Bollen and Curran (2004), which makes it possible to analyze both the structural relations of the variables as well as intraindividual changes in these variables over time. The results of both studies show only weak confirmation of the assumptions of the transactional theory of stress. Cognitive appraisal processes and coping have an influence only on psychological well-being. The central process variables of the stress theory, primary and secondary appraisal and coping, do not change over time. They reflect stable, interindividual differences. It is possible that dynamic processes can be found only in smaller time frames. Future research should combine shorter and longer measurement intervals to be able to separate dynamic and stable patterns in dealing with stressful situations. The method described and used in Study 2 can help to find such complex patterns.