Student Affairs Administrators & Well-being: Examining Time in Field, Position Level, and Factors That Have the Strongest Relationship to Well-being




Chessman, Hollie M.

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The voice of higher education student affairs professionals is under-represented in the well-being literature even though these campus community members are responsible for providing key programs and services that facilitate the holistic development of students. In order to understand the role of well-being in the work-life of these professionals, a large (n=2,414) sample of student affairs professionals completed the Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT) and the Work-Related Quality of Life (WRQoL) survey. Position level and time in field were considered for well-being differences with application of ANOVAs. Statistically significant differences were found in well-being for entry, midlevel, senior, and chief student affairs officers (CSAOs); there was a four point difference in well-being between entry-level and CSAOs. Years in field was not statistically significant until considering professionals who were in the field 12 or more years with those in the field less than 12 years. Through a hierarchical linear regression, a number of factors displayed a robust relationship to well-being for student affairs professionals. Variables related to work showed the strongest relationship to the well-being of these professionals. The study also indicated that self-perceived level of health has a mediating effect on the level of stress; the higher the perceived level of health the lower the impact of stress. In addition, work-life balance does not have a significant relationship to well-being for this population. This study provides recommendations for practice of student affairs leadership and individuals to support the development of well-being among student affairs professionals.



Higher education administration, Higher education, Health, Position level, Student affairs administrators, Student affairs professionals, Time in field, Well-being