Research Articles

Meaningful Work Protects Teachers’ Self-Rated Health under Stressors

Jaana Minkkinen, Elina Auvinen, Saija Mauno

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 2 (2020), 4 October 2020, Page 140-152

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.

Well-being is a multi-faceted construct that encompasses all aspects of healthy and successful human functioning across multiple domains. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the predictive power of student subjective wellbeing on several specific adolescent school and psychological adjustment indicators: school achievement, academic satisfaction, prosocial behavior, and internalizing and externalizing problems. Participants included 223 adolescents, comprising of 54.9% girls, ranging in age from 13 to 18 years (M= 15.67, SD= 1.21). Findings from the LVPA indicated that student subjective wellbeing was significantly associated with youth school functioning and adjustment outcomes, ranging from small-to-large effect size (R2 range = .05 to .42). Student subjective wellbeing had the strongest predictive effect on prosocial behavior, followed by academic satisfaction, psychological health problems, and school achievement. With regard to the first-order models, school connectedness and joy of learning significantly predicted student academic satisfaction, prosocial behavior, and psychological adjustment problems. However, the predictive effect of these variables on student school achievement was non–significant. Educational purpose and academic efficacy were significant predictors of all adolescent outcomes. Taken together, these results suggest that student subjective wellbeing is an essential resource for improving youth academic functioning and psychological health.

The Gratitude visit: Student reflections on a positive psychology experiential learning exercise

Jackelyn Payne, Huma Babar, Elizabeth Tse, Anne Moyer

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 2 (2020), 4 October 2020, Page 165-175

This study aimed to examine students' subjective experiences and insights in response to engaging in a positive psychology exercise focused on gratefulness that was part of a college course. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of 97 reflection assignments submitted as part of undergraduate and graduate level positive psychology courses at a large public university. A grounded theory approach to qualitative research guided the analytic process. Six major themes emerged, including students’ thoughts about the interventions and difficulties with the experience, how the gratitude visit impacted their interpersonal relationships, reflections on the construct of gratitude, the effect of the intervention on their mood and stress levels, and beliefs about how the experience had and would continue to affect their lives beyond the course. Our findings support prior research suggesting the beneficial impact of experiential learning and imply that such experiential exercises are feasible in multiple levels of psychology courses.

Life satisfaction is an important indicator of quality life of students. The aim of this study is to examine the mediation effect of positive and negative affect on the link between hope and life satisfaction in elementary school students. The sample consisted of 436 (204 female and 232 male) Turkish early adolescents recruited from among elementary school students in Turkey. Students were between 12 and 15 years (M = 13, SD = .84). Data were collected using the Children’s Hope Scale, Positive and Negative Experience Scale, and Satisfaction with Life Scale. The results indicated that hope positively predicted positive affect and satisfaction with life and negatively predicted negative affect. The structural equation model results showed that positive and negative affect partially mediated the relationship between hope and satisfaction with life. The study results showed that hope and positive emotions are an important factor for the life satisfaction of Turkish elementary school students. The practical implications and limitations of the present study are discussed.

Significant research has confirmed the necessity to better comprehend psychological constructs that are essential in predicting and influencing human performance, in particular, assessing expressive flexibility and resilience. However, limited research has investigated the relationships that exist between these two constructs that are critical protective factors in facilitating the mental health and the well-being of individuals. Through a number of structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques, the current endeavor evaluates this gap to assess the relationship between these two constructs. Utilizing a military student sample from a private U.S. military university (N = 107), participants completed the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA) and the Flexible Regulation of Emotional Expression (FREE) scale. Correlations matrixes reported positive relationships between expressive flexibility and resilience. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) revealed a bi-factor models of expressive flexibility and resilience. Additional CFAs revealed a two-factor model structure between expressive flexibility and resilience. Implications for future work are offered.