Weekends, work, and well-being: Psychological need satisfactions and day of the week effects on mood, vitality, and physical symptoms

Richard M. Ryan, Jesey H. Bernstein, Kirk Waren Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the effects of weekend versus weekday and work versus nonwork experiences on mood and other well-being indicators in a sample of 74 men and women employed in a wide variety of occupations. It was hypothesized that both weekends and nonworking times would be associated with enhanced well-being, and that these relations would be mediated by greater satisfaction of autonomy and relatedness needs. In addition, we hypothesized that much of the weekend effect would be accounted for by the work versus nonwork contrast, given that work activities are expected to be associated with a lower sense of autonomy and relatedness than nonwork activities. Results supported these hypotheses, showing that for both male and female workers, weekend and nonwork activities were associated with several indicators of well-being, and these relations were partially or fully mediated by basic psychological need satisfaction. The findings are discussed in terms of mood variability and the implications of free time and work for workers' well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-122
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

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