"When They Struggle I Cannot Sleep Well Either": Perceptions and Interactions Surrounding University Student and Teacher Well-Being



A wealth of evidence has indicated that both students and teachers experience high levels of stress, burnout, and ultimately compromised well-being in the university context. Within this, studies conducted primarily in the school context suggest the importance of considering reciprocal links between students and teachers. However, although numerous studies have investigated well-being among university students, and others have investigated well-being among university teachers, it is often the case that they are researched in isolation from one another. Additionally, when researching well-being in academia, conceptualizations of well-being differ from study-to-study. The present research therefore investigated how students and teachers conceptualize well-being at the university based on their personal experiences, as well as how student and teacher well-being interact. To examine this, six university students (50% female), and ten teachers (50% female) from Germany and the Netherlands participated in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative analysis revealed detailed insights concerning students’ and teachers’ perceptions of well-being that coincided with positive psychology, resilience, multifaceted, and basic psychological need fulfillment approaches. Moreover, an interaction between students’ and teachers’ well-being became apparent, including several factors such as the student-teacher relationship, that contributed to both population’s well-being. The present findings contribute to a more coherent conceptualization of well-being for further research and are discussed in terms of informing university policy and well-being enhancing interventions targeted at both groups.
Date made available30-Jun-2020
PublisherUniversity of Groningen

Keywords on Datasets

  • higher education
  • well-being
  • student-teacher interaction
  • positive psychology
  • resilience

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