08 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
This study is based on the research and development project “Promoting the Occupational Well-Being of School Staff—Action Research Project in Finland and Estonia, 2009–2014”, which purpose was to promote occupational well-being of primary and upper secondary school staff in Finland and Estonia. The project was carried out in cooperation with the staff in Finnish and Estonian schools (21 Finnish and 40 Estonian schools at the baseline survey phase, one of which withdrew from the study at the beginning of the project), members of a Finnish and an Estonian research group, and the Finnish and Estonian coordinators of the School for Health in Europe (SHE) network. The members of the research group came from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), the National Institute for Health Development (NIHD), and the Foundation for School Health Care (FSHC) in Estonia. The Finnish Federation for Social and Health (SOSTE; until 2011 Finnish Centre for Health Promotion) is the leading and supporting organization of the SHE network in Finland, while NIHD has the equivalent position in Estonia. (Saaranen et al., 2015.)
The promotion of occupational well-being of school staff is partially hindered by a lack of clarity of related concepts. Members of several different professional groups work at schools, including classroom teachers, subject teachers, teaching assistants, cleaners, kitchen staff, office workers, principals, and others. This makes it more challenging to understand the concept of occupational well-being and develop it in this context due to the different contents and requirements of work of different professional groups. In this study, occupational well-being at schools is considered to cover the occupational well-being of the entire school community staff consisting of four aspects: 1) worker and work, 2) working conditions, 3) professional competence and 4) working community . The aspect of worker and work encompasses health, mental and physical workload, personal resources and related factors. The aspect of working conditions includes the physical operational environment (physical, chemical and biological factors) and occupational safety. Professional competence covers occupational proficiency and opportunities for further education and training. The aspect of working community is considered to comprise, e.g., management, work organisation, leadership, social support and communication at work. Recognizing these areas is important for the health promotion and development of occupational well-being of working communities. (Saaranen et al. 2015.)
This paper describes the development of a model for the promotion of occupational well-being of school staff members, which can be used to improve occupational well-being in school communities.The purpose of this study aimed to test the original Occupational Well-being of School Staff Model (OWSS Model) from 2005, which was tested using data collected in two stages (in 2010 and in 2013) from school staff in Finnish and Estonian primary and upper secondary schools (Laine et. al. 2018). Finally, the results and models of this study can be used more extensively in the promotion of occupational well-being by school employees and administration and researchers, educators, health care professionals and experts in the field.
Research data were collected from the school staff members using ‘The Well-being at Your Work Index’ Questionnaire, which has been developed based on literature and has been utilized in previous national and international studies (e.g., Saaranen et al., 2007, 2013). It includes ten questions relating to background variables, four Likert scale (1–5) questions relating to occupational well-being and actions promoting occupational well-being, and one open question relating to actions that promote occupational well-being. The questionnaire includes individual variables relating to the four aspects of occupational well-being: 1) working conditions, 2) worker and work, 3) working community and 4) professional competence. After each section, the respondent has the chance to answer two open questions and to give additional information pertaining to prior statements or to name other factors affecting occupational wellbeing. The Occupational Well-being of School Staff Model (OWSS Model) from 2005 (Saaranen et al., 2007) was tested on material collected from school staff in Finland and Estonia at two different times (years 2010 and 2013). In 2010, there were 486 Finnish respondents (Finnish study 1), and in 2013, there were 545 Finnish respondents (Finnish study 2). Correspondingly, there were 1330 Estonian respondents in 2010 (Estonian study 1), and 974 Estonian respondents in 2013 (Estonian study 2). Statistical modelling (parameters estimation) was formulated using the AMOS software, which was also used in the construction of the original model. (Laine et al., 2018.) In the examination of occupational well-being among school staff, the endogenous variables were the working community’s general staff well-being in the worker’s working community and the school staff member’s subjective occupational well-being at this workplace compared with the best level, and these were explained through the sum variables 1) working space, postures and equipment (working conditions), 2) workload (worker and work), 3) working atmosphere and appreciation of others’ work (working community) and 4) substantive competence and interaction (professional competence) (Laine et al., 2018).
Based on structural equation modelling, Finnish data from 2010 and 2013 suited the OWSS Model well. Based on Estonian data from 2010 and 2013, the model was slightly improved, but its main structures remained largely unchanged. Further testing indicated that all of the aspects of occupational well-being (worker and work, working conditions, professional competence and working community) are connected to the occupational well-being of school staff even though this study also reinforced the previous notion that the working community has a powerful impact on occupational well-being, particularly in Finland: General occupational well-being of the working community was best explained by working atmosphere and appreciation of others’ work, both in 2010 (0.50) and in 2013 (0.56) (Laine et al., 2018). Standardized estimates are interpreted as a having a small effect if their value is <0.10. Estimates with a medium effect have values 0.30, and those with a major effect have values >0.50. (Kline, 1998.) As conclusion, it seems that working community has a larger effect on occupational wellbeing than the other aspects. Communality and social support are also emphasised in many other occupational well-being models (e.g. Utriainen et al., 2015; Manka & Manka, 2016). The OWSS Model provides a concrete framework, which enables school staff’s active participation in promoting subjective occupational well-being and the entire working community’s occupational well-being. The occupational wellbeing index and model require further future testing and development in varying school contexts (e.g., vocational education and higher education) (Laine, 2018).
Kline RB. 1998. Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York, MCGraw-Hill. Laine S, Tossavainen K, Pertel T, Lepp K, Isoaho H. & Saaranen T. 2018. Occupational well-being: A structural equation model of Finnish and Estonian school. Global Journal of Health Science 10 (8), 79-90. Laine S. 2018. Occupational well-being in school communities: Action research in Finnish and Estonian schools 2009-2014. University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Health Sciences. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Dissertations in Health Sciences 457. Available at http://epublications.uef.fi/pub/urn_isbn_978-952-61-2750-7/urn_isbn_978-952-61-2750-7.pdf (16.1.2019) Manka M-L. & Manka M. 2016. Työhyvinvointi (Occupational well-being). Helsinki:Talentum Pro. Saaranen T, Tossavainen K, Turunen H, Kiviniemi V. & Vertio H. 2007. Occupational well-being of school staff members: A structural equation model. Health Education Research, 22(2), 248-260. ttps://doi.org/10.1093/her/cyl073 Saaranen T, Tossavainen K, Ryhänen E. & Turunen H. 2013. Promoting the occupational well-being of teachers for the Comenius Program. International Journal of Higher Education 2 (2), 159-174. Utriainen K, Ala‐Mursula L. & Kyngäs H. 2015. Hospital nurses' wellbeing at work: A theoretical model. Journal of Nursing Management 23(6), 736-743.
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