Management of Mental Health Problem among Primary School Teachers using Rational-emotive Behavior Therapy

Christian S. Ugwuanyi1, *

1 Department of Education Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa

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© 2023 Christian S. Ugwuanyi

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Education Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa; E-mail:



Teachers in the Nigerian education system, especially at the primary level, experience various mental health issues. This is likely to be so as primary school teachers carry out a lot of responsibilities ranging from teaching all the primary school subjects to taking care of their families. Studies have revealed that mental health issues limit the academic responsibilities of teachers. However, there is a dearth of literature on mental health issues management among primary school teachers.


This study explored the effect of rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT) on work stress management among primary school teachers.


Using a randomised control trial group experimental design, this research used 45 primary school teachers as the study participants. Data for the study were collected using a work stress questionnaire which was properly validated and trial tested (α = .84). The participants were pretested before being exposed to a 12-week REBT intervention treatment. Participants were then retested and received follow-up care two months after the end of the intervention. Data collected were analysed using mixed-design repeated analysis of variance.


It was revealed that the work stress of the primary school teachers who were exposed to REBT intervention significantly (p < .05) reduced after the treatment.


REBT intervention significantly affected work stress management among primary school teachers. Therefore, it was recommended that REBT intervention be used as a workplace stress management intervention among primary school teachers.

Keywords: Intervention, Management, Mental health, Primary school teachers, Randomized controlled trial group, Rational-emotive behavioral therapy.