The aim of the study was to gain an understanding of teacher stress, their understanding of difficult behaviour, their understanding of stress and a general overview of thoughts and feelings they may have had over the last month due to difficult behaviour. A total of 70 primary school teachers in a disadvantaged area were given questionnaires. Of that, a total of 40 were returned. The questionnaire comprised of four sections. The first requested general details of the participants, the second looked at the teachers' understanding of difficult behaviour, how they dealt with it and how they would like to have dealt with it. The third section looked at the teachers' understanding of stress, how they dealt with it, how they would like to have dealt with it and symptoms they may have experienced. The last section looked at how often they may have experienced certain thoughts and feelings during a given time period.
The conclusion reached showed that those teachers who a) were more experienced or b) were more confident in their abilities both experienced difficult behaviour or felt stressed less. Those who felt unsupported by colleagues/principals felt more stressed and less competent.