|dc.description.abstract||The aim of the study was to examine employment status, duration of employment and work
stress as psychosocial factors determining mental health of employees in a South African
university. The study focused on four hypotheses: (1) Employment status will influence
mental health of employees;(2) Employees with long and short term working duration will be
different in mental health; (3) Work stress will influence mental health of university
employees and lastly (4) There will be an interaction between status of employment, duration
of employment and work stress on mental health of university employees.
The research was conducted with North-West University (Mafikeng campus) employees. A
questionnaire with three sections -A, B, and C was used to collect data. Section A comprised
the demographic characteristics of participants, the second section (B) encompassed the
Work Stress Inventory (WSI) used to measure work stress, and lastly section C comprised
the General Health Questionnaire Scale (GHQ-28) used to measure mental health.
Psychometric properties of all the scales used are valid and reliable and questionnaires were
analysed using SPSS 23 . Two hundred and fourteen (214) participants were selected using
convenience sampling and snowball sampling. Of the 214 participants, one hundred and three
(103) were male and one hundred and eleven (111) were female. Age of participants ranged
from 20 to over 50 years with a mean age (M =40.8, SD = 10.8). The years of employment
ranged from 1 to over 10 years, with the mean years at (M = 8.7, SD = 8.5). The study
included support and academic staff, temporary and permanent employees and different
All the four hypotheses were tested using a 2x2x2 Analysis of Variance (AN OVA).
The first hypothesis examined the influence of employment status on mental health of
employees. As shown in Table 1, results were not significant; F(l , 206) = 1.714, p =.192.
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Although, the result did not reach an acceptable level of significance, a look at the mean
shows that temporary staff members had higher scores (M= 30.546) on psychological
dysfunctions than permanent staff members (M=26.321 ).
Results from the second hypothesis (Table 1) revealed that there was a significant
difference; F(l , 206) = 7.855, p = .006 for duration of employment on mental health;
whereby employees with a short term duration of employment (M=23.911) reported better
mental health than those with long a duration of employment (M=32.956). The third
hypothesis which examined the effect of work stress on mental health of university
employees revealed that employees with low work stress (M=22.765) reported better mental
health than those with high work stress (M=34.102); F(l , 206) = 12.340, p = .001. This
implies that work stress has an influence on the mental health of university employees. The
fourth hypothesis examined whether there would be an interaction of three independent
variables (status of employment, duration of employment and work stress) on mental health.
This hypothesis was however rejected as the results showed no interaction effect of the
independent variables on mental health; F (1 , 206) = 3.156, p = .077. The fourth hypothesis
did not show any interaction of employment status, duration of employment and work stress
on mental health with .05 level; F (1 , 206) = 3.156, p = .077; but almost near significance at
the .05 level
In conclusion, the study contributed to the growing body of research about mental
health in the workplace by providing a link between psychosocial factors ( employment status,
duration of employment, work-stress) and mental health of university employees in a South
African university. It was noted that work stress and duration of employment are linked with
poor mental health of university employees. Therefore employee wellness practitioners need
to develop intervention strategies to assist in improving the mental health of employees.||en_US