The psychosocial work environment and mental health of teachers

a comparative study between the United Kingdom and Hong Kong

Jessica Janice Tang, Stavroula Leka, Sara Maclennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: There is limited research on teachers' psychosocial work environment and mental health, and most has been conducted in predominantly Western countries that share a number of important common characteristics that distinguish them from countries in many other regions of the world. Within the framework of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) theoretical model, the relationship between the psychosocial work environment and mental health of teachers in the United Kingdom (UK) and Hong Kong (HK) was investigated. METHODS: Full-time qualified teachers from both the UK and HK (N = 259) participated in the research. They were asked to fill in a set of questionnaires that measured their perceived stress, mental health, psychosocial work environment and demographic information. RESULTS: Perceived stress was found to predict teachers' mental health. Overcommitment, the intrinsic component of the ERI model, predicted mental health among HK teachers. There were significant differences in the psychosocial variables between UK and HK teachers. CONCLUSION: The results showed support for the ERI model and in particular for the relationship between stress and mental health and demonstrated the role of overcommitment in the teaching profession. Some implications are discussed for combating cultural differences in managing the psychosocial work environment of teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-666
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume86
Issue number6
Early online date27 Jul 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Fingerprint

Hong Kong
Mental Health
Reward
Research
United Kingdom
Teaching
Theoretical Models
Demography

Keywords

  • stress
  • mental health
  • professional commitment
  • teachers
  • psychosocial work environment

Cite this

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abstract = "PURPOSE: There is limited research on teachers' psychosocial work environment and mental health, and most has been conducted in predominantly Western countries that share a number of important common characteristics that distinguish them from countries in many other regions of the world. Within the framework of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) theoretical model, the relationship between the psychosocial work environment and mental health of teachers in the United Kingdom (UK) and Hong Kong (HK) was investigated. METHODS: Full-time qualified teachers from both the UK and HK (N = 259) participated in the research. They were asked to fill in a set of questionnaires that measured their perceived stress, mental health, psychosocial work environment and demographic information. RESULTS: Perceived stress was found to predict teachers' mental health. Overcommitment, the intrinsic component of the ERI model, predicted mental health among HK teachers. There were significant differences in the psychosocial variables between UK and HK teachers. CONCLUSION: The results showed support for the ERI model and in particular for the relationship between stress and mental health and demonstrated the role of overcommitment in the teaching profession. Some implications are discussed for combating cultural differences in managing the psychosocial work environment of teachers.",
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