The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs

Citation:

Larson, L. M., Seipel, M. T., Shelley, M. C., Gahn, S. W., Ko, S. Y., Schenkenfelder, M., Rover, D. T., et al. (2019). The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs. Journal of Career Assessment , 27 (1), 167-182.
The Academic Environment and Faculty Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Needs

Abstract:

Recent research has examined the well-being of higher education faculty, but it has typically lacked a theoretical model. The present study used self-determination theory to model the well-being of 581 tenured and tenure-eligible faculty members at a large mid-Western university. Volitional autonomy, perceived competence, and perceived relatedness were hypothesized to partially mediate the relationships between several environmental factors (e.g., administrative support, research support, promotion and tenure support) and faculty well-being (i.e., teaching/service satisfaction and global satisfaction). Results of path analysis indicated that all relations between the environment and teaching/service satisfaction were fully mediated by volitional autonomy and perceived competence, whereas all relations between the environment and global satisfaction were partially mediated by perceived relatedness. These findings highlight the centrality of psychological needs in understanding the relations between the environment and faculty well-being. Additional implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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