Meaningful Work Protects Teachers’ Self-Rated Health under Stressors

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Jaana Minkkinen
Elina Auvinen
Saija Mauno


Meaningful work, self-rated health, distractions, unnecessary tasks, unreasonable tasks, teachers


A sense of meaningfulness is one of the most sought?after work characteristics which has been associated with employees’ well-being. This study explored whether meaningful work enhances self-rated health in challenging work context, under the stressors of distractions, unnecessary tasks, and unreasonable tasks. Data was collected from Finnish teachers (N = 1,658) and structural equation modelling was employed with the latent interaction terms. Results showed that meaningful work was associated with better self-rated health and the stressors were associated with poorer self-rated health. Protective potential of meaningful work against stressors was also discovered, as meaningful work mitigated the harm of stressors on self-rated health. These findings indicate that meaningful work acts as an important resource for employees’ self-rated health and helps them to better cope with stressful work conditions, enhancing well-being. The protective quality of meaningful work means that even challenging work context may have less harm for employees’ well-being, if they have a strong sense of meaning in work. The practical implications of the findings for teachers and organizations are discussed.


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