An Exploration of Peer Support and its Relationship with Employee Mental Wellbeing:A Qualitative Study on Commercial Aviation Pilots

Jarlvik, Sirkka (2022) An Exploration of Peer Support and its Relationship with Employee Mental Wellbeing:A Qualitative Study on Commercial Aviation Pilots. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

[img]
Text (2022jarlvikPhD)
22_11_28_2022jarlvikphd.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB)

Abstract

This study has used theory and research on peer support underpinned by shared firsthand experiences (i.e., peerness) on mental health recovery and concepts on social support within an occupational context to inductively explore the following research question: how is occupational peer support (OPS) experienced by commercial aviation pilots (CAPs) in relation to work-related mental wellbeing? Peer support underpinned by peerness based on mental illness has shown to be a crucial form of social support with a unique ability to sustain or increase mental health. However, empirical evidence on peer support underpinned by occupational peerness (i.e., OPS) and its relationship with employee mental wellbeing is limited. To attain a holistic understanding of the meaning of OPS in occupational high-risk environments and CAPs’ experience of OPS in relation to work-related mental wellbeing, Braun and Clarke’s (2006) inductive thematic analysis has been used to analyse data collected through 26 semi-structured interviews with 6 female and 18 male CAPs (gender undisclosed by two participants). Findings reveal CAPs’ experience of OPS as: 1) a specific and irreplaceable form of social support based on psychologically close working relationships derived through shared first-hand occupational experiences; and 2) a form of social support highly dependent on individual differences and work-related experiences to be perceived as adequate protection against profession- and employer-related factors affecting mental wellbeing negatively. Thus, to protect CAPs against work-related mental health issues, commercial operators (COs) within the commercial aviation industry (CAI) are encouraged to support or provide CAPs with individually adapted OPS initiatives designed to support CAPs with work-related factors prone to affect mental wellbeing. As such, this study provides theoretical and practical advice on OPS and its relationship with employee mental wellbeing and urges cooperation between practitioners and researchers striving to support a healthier and more prosperous workforce, regardless of cultural influences on work.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
180293
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
29 Nov 2022 09:40
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
26 Jan 2023 01:21