Assessing Employee Wellbeing in Schools Using a Multifaceted Approach: Associations with Physical Health, Life Satisfaction, and Professional Thriving


Purpose: Drawing on recent advances in the field of positive psychology, we conducted a pilot evaluation of employee wellbeing using Seligman’s (2011) multidimensional PERMA (positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment) model of flourishing. We analyzed associations between multiple aspects of employee wellbeing and three outcomes: physical health, life satisfaction, and professional thriving. Method: Employees (N = 153) from a large private school in Australia completed a survey with items theoretically relevant to the PERMA theory. Factor analyses recovered the expected five PERMA components and a negative emotion factor. Regression analyses estimated cross-sectional associations between the wellbeing factors and self-reported physical health, life satisfaction, and professional thriving (job satisfaction and organizational commitment). Results: Differential associations support the multidimensional approach to defining and measuring wellbeing. For example, staff with higher engagement and better relationships reported greater job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Conclusions: Multidimensional wellbeing assessments can help school administrators understand and improve staff wellbeing, supporting policy and practice designs that ultimately will promote wellness for all stakeholders in the education system.

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Kern, M. , Waters, L. , Adler, A. & White, M. (2014). Assessing Employee Wellbeing in Schools Using a Multifaceted Approach: Associations with Physical Health, Life Satisfaction, and Professional Thriving. Psychology, 5, 500-513. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.56060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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