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Work Hours, Job Resources and Subjective Well-Being of Chinese Faculty: An Empirical Analysis Based on a Sequential Mediation Model

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Several studies have demonstrated the relevance of job demands-resources theory in examining the subjective well-being of Chinese university teachers. Nevertheless, the specific impact and mechanisms of various dimensions of job demands and resources on faculty members’ subjective well-being are not well understood. This study seeks to identify the primary predictors of subjective well-being and to explore the connection between specific job demands-resources and subjective well-being through an examination of the sequential mediation of work stress and work-life balance. Questionnaires were completed by a total of 2302 faculty members from 302 universities in China. Correlation analysis and path analysis were employed to examine the relationships between job demands-resources and subjective well-being, as well as their influencing mechanisms. Job demands measured by work hours have a significant negative impact on the subjective well-being of university faculty, with teaching hours emerging as the primary negative predictor. Conversely, job resources have a significantly positive effect on faculty’s subjective well-being, particularly decision participation, job security and extensive training, which serve as positive predictors. The relationship between job demands and faculty’s subjective well-being is mediated by their work stress, and is further serially mediated by their work stress and work-life balance. Similar patterns are observed in the influence mechanism of job resources on subjective well-being.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author, [Yongmei Hu], upon reasonable request.


  1. According to "National Education Development Statistical Bulletin" issued by China’s Ministry of Education, China has more than 1.8 million academic faculty in 2020.

  2. Bianzhi can be understood as officially budgeted posts, that is, a position of duty, employment, or trust to which one is assigned or appointed. Faculty on the Bianzhi are usually not fired by universities.


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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant 71874015 and Humanities and Social Science Fund of Ministry of Education of China 22JJD880003.

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Correspondence to Yongmei Hu.

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Zhao, P., Yuan, J. & Hu, Y. Work Hours, Job Resources and Subjective Well-Being of Chinese Faculty: An Empirical Analysis Based on a Sequential Mediation Model. Res High Educ (2024).

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