Wellness in student affairs: An exploration of the profession and its practitioners.

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This mixed design study surveyed members of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) to determine the baseline for wellness among student affairs administrators and within the profession. In addition to describing the wellness levels of the administrators and comparing them to the wellness of the general population, the study explored how wellness is represented within the student affairs profession, as reflected in the literature and practice. Student affairs administrators' wellness was assessed utilizing the Five Factor Wel Wellness Inventory (Myers & Sweeney, 2004). Collectively, the administrators posted "well" scores on the six factors utilized in the study and ... continued below

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Marling, Janet L. Trepka May 2006.

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  • Marling, Janet L. Trepka

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Description

This mixed design study surveyed members of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) to determine the baseline for wellness among student affairs administrators and within the profession. In addition to describing the wellness levels of the administrators and comparing them to the wellness of the general population, the study explored how wellness is represented within the student affairs profession, as reflected in the literature and practice. Student affairs administrators' wellness was assessed utilizing the Five Factor Wel Wellness Inventory (Myers & Sweeney, 2004). Collectively, the administrators posted "well" scores on the six factors utilized in the study and scored higher than the norms reported for the 5F-Wel general population. However, there was a broad range of actual scores across individuals indicating that not everyone can be considered to be maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle. The administrators' wellness was not affected by their length of time in the student affairs profession but was negatively associated with the number of hours they worked per week. The administrators possessed a holistic view of wellness and could articulate the behaviors and conditions associated with achieving, and failing to achieve, balance. However, reported engagement in certain wellness behaviors (e.g., physical activity and healthy eating) was not always reflected in the 5F-Wel scores. Additionally, the administrators noted a lack of focus on wellness issues in the student affairs literature, professional organizations, and most pointedly, in graduate preparation programs. The study creates a context for individual exploration of balance given the "norms" of the profession and instigates dialog focused on building healthy workplaces that facilitate positive role modeling experiences for students and staff. Recommendations for practitioners, graduate program faculty, and the profession aim to maximize personal wellness, create balanced professionals, and facilitate congruence between the student affairs profession's espoused values and wellness philosophy and the enculturation of professionals into this ideology.

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  • May 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 5, 2008, 2:05 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2008, 2:33 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Marling, Janet L. Trepka. Wellness in student affairs: An exploration of the profession and its practitioners., dissertation, May 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5262/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .