27 May 2022


Stressful Psychosocial Work Environment, Poor Sleep, and Depressive Symptoms among Primary School Teachers

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1010

Pages: 4

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Gluschkoff et al., (2016) established that some work environments are rich in stressful psychosocial factors that make individuals prone to mental issues such as depression. In the article, the authors noted that learning environment particularly primary schools are stressful for teachers. As such, primary school teachers are more likely to develop depressive disorders. Gluschkoff et al., (2016) also indicated that depression might lead to other secondary complications such as diabetes type II and cardiovascular disorders among others. 

From the article, it was apparent that the depression among teachers could also be extended to the students. On the other hand, this affected the outcomes of the learning process negatively. This was the motivation behind Gluschkoff et al, (2016) conducting the research to establish the relations and contributions of three models namely organizational injustice, reward-effort imbalance and job strain in describing depression among the participants (primary school teachers). In addition, the research examined the role of sleep problems in mediating the relationship between SPWFs and depressive symptoms. 

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Four hypotheses guided the study by Gluschkoff et al., (2016). The first hypothesis stated that there was a positive correlation between Stressful Psychosocial Work-oriented factors (SPWF) and sleep problems. The second hypothesis stated that SPWF positively associated with depressive symptoms. The third hypothesis purported that sleep problems and depressive symptoms associated positively. The last hypothesis for the study indicated that sleep problems could mediate the correlation between SPWF and depressive symptoms. 

In the study, Gluschkoff et al., (2016) randomly selected seventy-six Finland primary school, teachers. These teachers’ were instructing student between grades one to six. The age of the learners in these grades ranged between 7 to 12 years old. Out of the seventy-six study sample, sixty-six comprised of females while ten were men. The age of the participants ranged between 25 to 63 years. Concisely, 33% of the study populations comprised of individuals aged below 40 years, 34% were aged between 40-49 years while 33% were participants aged above the age of 50 years. In terms of gender, 87% were females while 13% were males. 

Gluschkoff et al., (2016) collected data from the study population using questionnaires. Prior to administering the questionnaires, the researchers contacted the school heads via telephone to acquire permission. Notably, about 189 schools were contacted. However, only 34 participated in the study. After being granted permission to carry on with their research Gluschkoff et al., (2016), sent questionnaires to the teachers during the mid-term break. The questionnaires required the teachers to respond to a couple of issues regarding such as job strain, effort-reward imbalance, organizational justice, depression symptoms, and sleep problems. 

In relation to job strain, the researchers developed a 1-5 scale to help the participants to provide appropriate responses. The scale from code 1 that implied that the job does not suit the participant to code 5 which stated that the position suits the participant well. Under effort-reward imbalance, a 1 to 5 - response scale was also developed. As such, the participants were to provide a variety of opinions ranging from whether the reward does not suit (code 1) or suits them (code 5). In order to get data regarding the organizational justice, a 1-5 scale was used. In this case, the teachers were supposed to provide their views on whether they perceived the decision-making process was constantly applied. The developed 5-point scale ranged from 1= I completely disagree to 5 = I agree. For depressive symptoms, the participants were required to provide their responses to elements of depression. During this phase, the higher the score of the participant, the higher the level of depressive symptoms. Finally, a 0 to 5 scale was developed to examine sleep problems among the study sample. The teachers were required to rate the frequency in which they experience sleep problems. The scale ranged from 0 = not at all to 5 = daily. The control variables for the research were gender and age. 

The collected data was analyzed using the Pearson, correlation model. This model was used to examine the relationship between the various variables that were used in the study. Notably, Gluschkoff et al., (2016) analyzed the correlation between the SPWFs, sleep issues and symptoms of depression separately through a series of linear regression while adjusting the control variables (age and gender). The researchers performed a relative weight analysis to gain insight into the proportionate contributions of SPWFs (organizational injustice, reward-effort imbalance, and occupational strain) in the development of depressive symptoms. Gluschkoff et al., (2016) also used bootstrapping to examine the indirect association between SPWFs and symptoms of depression. SPSS was used to conduct the analysis. 

The results obtained from the study indicated that both occupational strain ( β = .33, p = .006) and effort-reward imbalance ( β = .40, p < .001) associated with depressive symptoms. This finding supports the second hypothesis that stated that SPWF (job strain) positively associated with depressive symptoms among primary school teachers. On the other hand, the research outcomes showed that there was no relationship between organizational injustice and sleep problems as well as depressive symptoms ( p -values > .05) . These findings differ with the first and second hypothesis that stated SPWFs, organizational injustice being one of them are associated with sleep problems and depression respectively. 

In relation to SPWFs and sleep problems, the study showed that occupational strain and effort-reward imbalance only associated with one element of sleep problem which was non-restorative sleep. The outcomes of the research by Gluschkoff et al., (2016) revealed that there is weak support suggesting that sleep problems can mediate the relationship between SPWFs and depressive symptoms ( β = .13, p = .278) as stated in hypothesis 4 . It was apparent that occupational strain and effort-reward imbalance (56.5%) directly correlated with depressive symptoms. Nevertheless, occupational stain (33.5%) and effort-reward imbalance also had an indirect weak association with depressive symptoms via non-restorative sleep [ β (indirect) = .05, p < .05]. 

The study by Gluschkoff et al., (2016) is critical since it tries to address some of the challenges that people experience in their daily endeavors. The article was selected because it provides insight into organizational cultures that affect the employees negatively. The findings from the report were not surprising. Various researchers have indicated that employers need to create a favorable work environment in order to motivate their employees. Studies have also suggested that a stressful environment demoralizes employees hence making it hard for organizations to realize their goals. As such, this research is significant since it continues to alert the employers on the need to create a stress-free working environment for its workers. Notably, some learning institutions have enough resources including qualified teachers. However, they have failed to meet their coveted academic targets. In that respect, the research by Gluschkoff et al., (2016) has helped in identifying some of the areas that might be contributing to poor results in such institutions. 

In conclusion, Gluschkoff et al., (2016) indicated that occupational strain and effort-reward imbalance associated with depressive symptoms. However, there was no relationship between organizational injustice and sleep problems as well as depressive symptoms. Finally, the article demonstrated that there was a weak indication that sleep problems can mediate the relationship between SPWFs and depressive symptoms. 


Gluschkoff, K., Elovainio, M., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Hintsanen, M., Mullola, S., & Hintsa, T. (2016). Stressful Psychosocial Work Environment, Poor Sleep, and Depressive Symptoms among Primary School Teachers. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 14 (3), 462-481. ISSN: 1696-2095. 2016. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14204/ejrep.40.16067. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Stressful Psychosocial Work Environment, Poor Sleep, and Depressive Symptoms among Primary School Teachers.


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