Bowling, A. and Thieman, E. (2020). Exploring stress and recovery among high-achieving career development event teams: A mixed methods study. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 142-161. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02142

School Based Agricultural Education (SBAE) teachers can experience physiological stress through their various roles and responsibilities, including preparing Career Development Event (CDE) teams. Through CDE participation, students can encounter numerous benefits, but these academic competitions could be catalysts for stress. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to contextualize the experiences of high-achieving SBAE teachers and CDE participants through the lens of stress and resilience. Using a concurrent triangulated mixed methods design, physiological, quantitative data were collected through ambulatory heart rate monitors, and qualitative data were collected through teacher and CDE participant daily journals. We found that teachers encountered stress reactions the majority of the time with little to no recovery, where students experienced a more extensive range of stress reactions and recovery within the quantitative analysis. Both CDE context-specific and role-specific stress catalysts existed within the qualitative and convergent analysis. SBAE teachers and CDE participants should utilize strategies that address both (a) sleep deprivation and (b) anticipatory and in-action stress to allow for increased cognitive performance and resilience.

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