Health and Work Environment among Female and Male Swedish Elementary School Teachers-A Cross-Sectional Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Changes in teachers' work situation in Sweden since the 1990s may have contributed to an increase in common mental disorders (CMDs) and burnout. However, there is a lack of research in this field. The aim was to describe how Swedish elementary school teachers experience their health, organizational and social work environment, and the psychosocial safety climate at the workplace, and especially differences and similarities between female and male teachers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected with the COPSOQ, OLBI, UWES and PSC-12 from 478 elementary teachers, 81.0% of them women, from twenty schools. The response rate was 96.4%. RESULTS: Teachers reported relatively good general health but experienced high stress, high work pace and emotional demands, low influence at work and a poor psychosocial safety climate. These factors were especially prominent among female teachers. Both women and men experienced good development possibilities and high work engagement. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study can help us to develop a more sustainable work environment for female and male teachers. A more sustainable work environment might attract more people to the profession and incentivize existing teachers to remain in the profession.


  • Maria Boström
  • Christina Björklund
  • Gunnar Bergström
  • Lotta Nybergh
  • Liselotte Schäfer Elinder
  • Kjerstin Stigmar
  • Charlotte Wåhlin
  • Irene Jensen
  • Lydia Kwak
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • University of Gävle
  • Stockholm County Council
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Linköping University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pedagogical Work
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • common mental disorders, Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, organizational and social work environment, Psychosocial Safety Climate scale, school, stress, teachers
Original languageEnglish
Article number227
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 28
Publication categoryResearch