Although kindergarten work environments in Hong Kong and overseas have been found to be unfavourable, a smaller than expected number of teachers have displayed a low level of subjective well-being (SWB). This research aimed to investigate how SWB could be predicted by perceived work environment, personality types, and resilience. It also examined the mediating functions of resilience in the relationships of perceived work environment and personality types to SWB.
In this research, SWB was represented by job satisfaction, measured by the Job Satisfaction Survey; self-esteem, assessed by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale; and mental health complaints, captured by the General Health Questionnaire-12. Perceived work environment comprised psychosocial and non-psychosocial aspects, with the former evaluated by the School Culture Survey and the latter measured by the Kindergarten Ergonomics-Manpower Inventory (KEMI), a new inventory developed in Study 2. Personality types were measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Resilience was represented by hardiness and optimism, which were captured by the Hardiness Scale and the Revised Life Orientation Test, respectively.
This research adopted a mixed method design and comprised four studies. Study 1 was the pilot study involving 64 teachers in validating seven inventories and exploring the relationships between perceived school culture, personality types, hardiness, optimism, job satisfaction, self-esteem, and mental health complaints. Data analyses using SPSS 17 revealed that perceived school culture and personality types were significantly related to job satisfaction, self-esteem, and mental health complaints. Hardiness, but not optimism, mediated the relationships of perceived work environment and personality types to job satisfaction, self-esteem, and mental health complaints.
Study 2 developed a new inventory (i.e. KEMI) to measure kindergartens' non-psychosocial work environments and comprised two stages