The Effect of Emotional Dissonance and Mental Load on Need for Recovery and Work Engagement among Italian Fixed-Term Researchers

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Although many studies have been conducted to evaluate the risk and protective factors on psychological health among academic staff, little attention has been paid to fixed-term research- ers, the weakest figures in the academic context. By using the Job Demands–Resources model as theoretical framework, we investigated: (1) the role of some job demands (workload, mental load, and emotional dissonance) in predicting the need for recovery; (2) the role of some job resources (independence, career opportunities, and work–life balance) in predicting work engagement; and (3) the moderating role of the contract type (more or less precarious). We focused in particular on emotional dissonance (the discrepancy between emotions that need to be displayed and what is really felt), assuming its unique role in predicting fatigue. Results of structural equation modeling analysis generally supported our hypotheses and highlighted a so far undiscovered path between mental load and work engagement. Specifically, mental load leads to fatigue only indirectly through workload and emotional dissonance, while significantly predicting the absorption and the dedica- tion of fixed-term Italian researchers. The latter relationship was also moderated by the contract type, so that mental load predicts dedication especially among researchers in the most precarious condition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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