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Subjective well-being in teachers : a study of selected schools in KwaZulu-Natal.

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This study aimed to assess subjective well-being of South African teachers according to their job demands and resources, while making a comparison between public and independent schools. This study used a quantitative, cross-sectional research design with a sample of 368 teachers from multiple public and independent schools within the KwaZulu Natal province. Participants completed a survey that included a biographical questionnaire, the Job Demands Resources Scale, the Satisfaction With Life Scale and the Subjective Well-Being Scale. Statistical analyses showed that the scales used, as well as their components, are valid and reliable. Results suggest that job resources and subjective well-being are positively correlated, while job demands have a negative relationship with subjective well-being. Interestingly the opposite was found for satisfaction with life, where a positive relationship existed with job demands while a negative relationship was found with job resources. Results show that while teachers in public and independent schools seem to have similar degrees of job resources, teachers in public schools show higher degrees of job demands. Additionally, teachers in public schools show higher levels in satisfaction with life than teachers in independent schools, while levels of subjective well-being were similar. This implies that teachers in public schools maintain satisfaction with life despite increased demands, which could be attributed to increased work engagement in teachers in public schools. This is an area that could be further researched. Nevertheless, the results of this study provide valuable insight into the relationship between subjective well-being and satisfaction with life, specifically with regards to job demands and resources in public and independent South African Schools. The cross-sectional design of this study implies that causality between variables could not be established. Furthermore, the use of quantitative self-report questionnaires suggests response bias along with a lack of qualitative data. The study used suburban public schools and not rural public schools, which may have an impact on the generalisability of the results. After consideration of the findings of this study it has been recommended that organisations provide teachers with opportunities to learn and grow, and that teachers are encouraged to find meaning and purpose in their work, as well as to develop their personal resources. Future studies could investigate the mediating factors that illustrate the connection between subjective well-being and job demands and resources.


Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology. University of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban, 2017.