Italian Teachers and Life Meaning


Well-Being at Work and Across Life Domains: A Comparative Study Among Italian Professionals

Antonella Delle Fave1, Mjriam Di Bisceglie1, Andrea Fianco1 from University degli Studi di Milano, Faculty of Medicine, Milan, Italy, and Paola Mencarelli from UILCA, Milano, Italy

Background and aims: Meaning pursuit, resource mobilization, and the exercise of freedom and responsibility are constituents of well-being in any life domain. However, as concerns work, task and organizational differences substantially influence workers’ well-being. These topics were explored through the Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness.

Investigation among 402 Italian adults (266 women and 136 men, aged 45,8 on average), including 185 teachers, 113 bank clerks, and a miscellaneous group of 104 participants involved in different jobs.

Results: Teachers associated work with the highest levels of happiness and meaningfulness, compared with the other groups. On the opposite, bank clerks scored lowest in happiness and meaningfulness at work, and in life satisfaction. Teachers more oft en associated well-being with personal growth and involvement in community/society issues, while the other groups gave more emphasis to leisure and material resources. All groups quoted family as the prominent context of meaningfulness and happiness.

Conclusion: Teachers prominently associated job with well-being, while bank clerks perceived lack of engagement and meaning. Structural job aspects were related to these findings.

Overall, group differences suggest that achieving an optimal balance in resource investment across life domains, according to their developmental and meaning potential, can represent a useful strategy in well-being promotion.

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