The need satisfaction and wellbeing of Scottish primary teachers

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2014
Thesis identifier
  • T13967
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The wellbeing of employees is essential to ensure their attraction, retention and performance on the job. Wellbeing consists of affect, life satisfaction and meaning in life. There is evidence to suggest that the satisfaction of basic needs (the intrinsic capabilities that humans have) will increase wellbeing, but there is little understanding of how these needs should be satisfied across work and life. In addition, there is no comprehensive framework of needs which individuals seek to fulfil. The aim of this study is to explore which needs are satisfied in work and life to optimise wellbeing. Scottish primary teachers are considered, due to the engagement but also high stress which teachers can experience. The teaching environment may prevent or enable need satisfaction and this study also seeks to understand what may support or prevent teachers' ability to satisfy needs. A mixed methods approach is used, involving semi-structured interviews with teachers and stakeholders to inform the development of a survey designed to understand the association between need satisfaction and wellbeing. Teachers from across five local authorities in Scotland participated in the survey. A model of need satisfaction in work and life is proposed and developed to address the research questions and hypotheses of this study. The findings support the model, indicating that when equal energy is directed to work and life and needs in both domains are satisfied, wellbeing is optimised. This study identifies important groups of needs, offering insight into areas of satisfaction in work and life. It also suggests that directing more energy to work may not increase the satisfaction of work needs and may impact on the satisfaction of life needs. It explores the enablers and challenges to need satisfaction, offering insight into how teaching interacts with the life domain.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2014
Former identifier
  • 1217609