Meaning in life and flow experiences among people with psychiatric disabilities who are engaged in peer-helping vs. non-helping work-roles

May Bujanover, Michal Mashiach-Eizenberg, Galia S. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Finding meaning in life and wellbeing through vocational work-roles are central to recovery of persons with psychiatric disabilities. However, there is a disconnect between positive concepts and vocational rehabilitation, rendering meaning and wellbeing rarely explored in vocational rehabilitation. OBJECTIVE: We assume higher meaning and wellbeing exists among individuals engaged in peer-helping work-roles (meaningful role) as compared to non-helping work-roles. We examine this and additional questions to learn about relationships between positive concepts and vocational work-roles illuminating mental health recovery. METHODS: 114 individuals with psychiatric disabilities (ages 20-70) from various vocational-services participated. Sixty-nine worked in peer-helping roles (i.e. consumer-providers/peer-supporters) and 45 engaged in non-helping work-roles (vendors/clerical work, etc.). Participants filled in the meaning in life and work-related flow (assessing wellbeing at work) scales. Additionally, participants in peer-helping work-roles filled a peer-developed scale estimating their salience of peer-role characteristics. RESULTS: Individuals in peer-helping work-roles had significantly higher meaning in life levels than those in non-helping roles. Having meaning in life also predicted higher work-related flow across the sample. Finally, meaning in life positively mediated relations between salience of peer-role characteristics and work-related flow experiences. CONCLUSION: Researching meaning and wellbeing can broaden theoretical understanding and bear practical implications for enhancing vocational work-role fit mental health recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Mental health recovery
  • generativity
  • occupational groups
  • peer providers
  • positive psychology
  • psychiatric rehabilitation
  • supported employment
  • vocational work-roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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