Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Stuart Badner, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Bernard Kniery, Ph.D.


This study examined the relationships between teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, automatic thoughts, Balanced States of Mind (BSOM) model, and levels of stress in regular education elementary school teachers. A sample of 66 teachers from rural and urban south central Pennsylvania school districts completed the following questionnaires: Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS), Collective Teacher Beliefs Scale (CTBS), Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire - Revised (ATQR), Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI), and a demographic survey. A ratio of positive to positive-plus-negative automatic thoughts from the Balanced States of Mind model (BSOM) became the fifth variable. This study presumes that teachers have more stress today following the onset of No Child Left Behind legislation in 2001. Hence, this study hypothesized that a positive relationship exists between teacher self-efficacy, collective teacher efficacy, and the BSOM ratio, while an inverse relationship exists between negative automatic thoughts and teacher stress. Data consisted of the total and subscale scores from the questionnaires and the BSOM ratio. A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient identified the relationships between the continuous variables; a point-biserial correlation identified the relationships with the BSOM ratio. Additional analysis using a MANOV A and independent samples t-test examined mean differences between rural and urban teachers on the variables. Results indicated that teacher self-efficacy correlated positively with collective teacher efficacy and the BSOM ratio, but that collective teacher efficacy did not relate significantly with the BSOM ratio. However, these variables correlated inversely to negative automatic thoughts and teacher stress. Teacher stress related significantly with the frequency of negative automatic thoughts. A MANOVA and the independent f test revealed that no significant differences existed between rural versus urban teachers on any of these variables using school context as the dependent variable. These results suggest that by enhancing teachers' efficacy beliefs and educating them to the benefits of regulating their positive and negative thinking, they become a crucial contributor to student achievement. In addition, they will be better equipped to manage their stress. Finally, a discussion of the summary of the results, limitations, and recommendations for future research conclude this study.