Stress and Coping Among Early Childhood Intervention Professionals Receiving Reflective Supervision: A Qualitative Analysis




Cynthia A. Frosch, Yolanda T. Mitchell, Lauren Hardgraves, and Sadie Funk

Brief Type

Journal Publication



Reflective supervision/consultation (RS/C) is an important component of infant mental health training and practice. Given high levels of job stress reported by a variety of early childhood professionals, the present study offers a qualitative examination of early childhood intervention professionals’ perceptions of stress and coping before and after receiving regular RS/C. Thirty-one professionals received 9 months of RS/C and completed semistructured interview questionnaires at the pre-/postassessments. Questionnaires focused on job-related experiences, including what participants found stressful and how they coped with job-related stress. Inductive analysis techniques were used to identify themes that arose from the data. Relationships between themes were discovered through axial coding. Three key themes of individual, relational, and organizational stress were identified across the pre-/postassessments. Similar themes were evident in reports of coping. Following 9 months of RS/C, analysis revealed greater detail and reflection among the majority of participants. These results contribute to the literature through identification of multiple levels of stress and coping as well as areas of continuity and change among participants receiving RS/C. Future research should consider how professionals’ reports of stress and coping relate to reported self-efficacy and observed competence with young children and families. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Frosch, C. A., Mitchell, Y. T., Hardgraves, L., & Funk, S. (2019). Stress and coping among early childhood intervention professionals receiving reflective supervision: A qualitative analysis. Infant Mental Health Journal, 40(4), 443–458. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21792
Author Contact Information:
Cynthia A. Frosch


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