It is imperative that the university environment be supportive and capable of nurturing optimal learning and performance in students. Using job design and work stress theories, the study assessed relationships between psychosocial work characteristics, well-being and satisfaction, and performance in a random sample survey of Australian university students (N = 176). Methodological improvements were a time lag between survey and performance measures, an objective measure of performance, and LISREL structural equation modeling. Results showed high levels of psychological distress and low levels of satisfaction, both linked to high demands combined with low control. In accord with the happy-productive student hypothesis, satisfaction mediated the impact of the work environment on performance. Reengineering the design of the student work environment may therefore improve performance outcomes (student grades) through enhancing satisfaction.
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Cotton, S.J., Dollard, M.F. & de Jonge, J. Stress and Student Job Design: Satisfaction, Well-Being, and Performance in University Students. International Journal of Stress Management 9, 147–162 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015515714410