UBC Theses and Dissertations
Need fulfillment in work and non-work as related to mental health Jamal, Muhammad
A theoretical model was developed in order to predict an individual's level of mental health on the basis of factors in his work and non-work environments. The model predicted that the individual's level of mental health is related to the degree of his psychological need fulfillment both in work and non-work environments. It was argued that the nature of the relationship between need fulfillment in work and need fulfillment in non-work in an individual's life determines his level of mental health. Four types of relationships between the two need, areas were proposed: (1) High need fulfillment in work might be coupled with high need fulfillment in non-work. This type of relationship was called a complementary relationship. (2) High need fulfillment in work might be coupled with low need fulfillment in non-work. This type of relationship was called an expressive relationship. (3) Low need fulfillment in work might be coupled with a high need fulfillment in non-work. This type of relationship was called a compensatory relationship. (4) Low need fulfillment in work might be coupled with low need fulfillment in non-work. This type of relationship was called a spill-over relationship. It was hypothesized that the level of mental health will be high when there is a complementary relationship between need fulfillment in the two areas; moderately high when there is an expressive relationship; moderate when there is a compensatory relationship; and low when there is a spill-over relationship. The model also predicted that various technological, organizational and management factors are related to need fulfillment in work. Five hypotheses (hypotheses 5 to 9) were formulated showing the relationships between technological, organizational and management factors, and need fulfillment. Data on individual variables were collected through a structured questionnaire -from 403 employees (response rate 45 percent), working in six industrial organizations in Western Canada. Data on organizational variables were obtained through personal interviews with at least one senior manager in each of the six participating companies. Hypotheses were tested using one-way-analysis of variance and Spearman rank order correlations. The results on need fulfillment as predictors of mental health showed that the mean scores on mental health were highest for the complementary relationship; second for the expressive relationship; third for the compensatory relationship; and lowest for the spill-over relationship. Differences between means across the four types of relationships were significant (P>.01) according to the t-test and the Duncan Sign Test. The partial correlation (r=.48) between need fulfillment in work and mental health, controlling for need fulfillment in non-work, was far greater than the partial correlation (r=.20) between need fulfillment in non-work and mental health, controlling for need fulfillment in work. The results on need fulfillment in work as a dependent variable showed that (1) Both task specialization and technical constraints in task performance were inversely related to need fulfillment. (2) Need fulfillment was slightly higher under a democratic supervisor than under an authoritarian supervisor. (3) Need fulfillment was slightly higher in flat organization structures than in tall organization structures. (4) Need fulfillment was higher in small organizations and sub-units than in large organizations and sub-units for the blue-collar workers but not for the white-collar workers. It was concluded that it is important that future research must include both work and non-work environment factors in predicting employees' mental health and that serious attention must also be paid to technological variables along with organizational, management and psychological variables in understanding employees' job attitudes.
Item Citations and Data