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Reading: Weathering the Storms: Workplace Wellbeing, Mental Health, and the U.S. Meteorologist

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Weathering the Storms: Workplace Wellbeing, Mental Health, and the U.S. Meteorologist

Authors:

Matthew J. Bolton,

Saint Leo University, US
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Lara Ault

Saint Leo University, US
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Abstract

Mental health is a topic of increasing interest and concern across the weather enterprise amidst a backdrop of funding cuts, extreme storms, and longer, more involved work hours. The present study therefore investigated wellbeing in the meteorological workplace. Participants (N= 389), professional meteorologists (n = 360) and professionally-employed meteorology students (n = 29), voluntarily participated in a Qualtrics-hosted online survey and responded to a number of measures representing a broad range of mental health variables. These individuals fell into three employment sectors: U.S. National Weather Service (NWS), Broadcast (television weather), and Other (a combination of academic, private sector, military, and non-NWS operational meteorologists). Individual differences emerged between meteorological sectors in personality and the subjective wellbeing domains of burnout, job satisfaction, and anxiety. Broadcasters were significantly more burnt-out at work and personally, were higher in extraversion, and were highest in anxiety. NWS meteorologists were most burnt-out in working with partners. The Other category of meteorologists showed more agreeableness and greater job satisfaction than broadcasters and those in the NWS. There was no cross-sector difference, however, in traits that might be relatively uniform among meteorologists: Grit, life satisfaction, self-concept clarity, subjective happiness, stress, and depression. Results are discussed in terms of consequences for meteorologists’ mental health and emotional wellbeing as well as the future of the field.

How to Cite: Bolton, M.J. and Ault, L., 2020. Weathering the Storms: Workplace Wellbeing, Mental Health, and the U.S. Meteorologist. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 12(1), pp.1–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2168-0620.0293
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Published on 21 May 2020.
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