Evaluation of Well-Being of Maritime Students: An Application of Dokuz Eylül University

Arslan Ö., Arslan E.

Global Maritime Congress, İstanbul, Turkey, 20 - 21 May 2024

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Seafarers, who are a crucial element of world trade, work under many challenging conditions. Many adverse conditions such as exposure to hazardous cargoes, intensive work under long working hours, being away from their families, and working in environments with noise and vibration affect the health of seafarers both physically and mentally. Well-being, which depends on the personal evaluations that people experience in their lives, can vary depending on many judgments, and emotions such as life satisfaction, responsibilities, health, work, entertainment, and relationships. The "Seafarers Happiness Index" for 2023 showed a decline from 7.12 in the first quarter to 6.36 in the last. In the last quarter data of 2023, it is seen that the catering department is the happiest rank with a value of 7.1 among 14 ranks, while the deck and engine cadets have the 3rd and 4th lowest values. Therefore, this study aims to assess the well-being of cadets, who represent the initial stage in officer formation. The students studying at the departments of Marine Transportation Engineering (MET) and Marine Engineering (ME) of Dokuz Eylul University Maritime Faculty were chosen as the sample. The PERMA-Profiler questionnaire, which consists of 23 questions and measures well-being with the dimensions of Positive Emotion (P), Engagement (E), Relationship (R), Meaning (M), and Accomplishment (A), was applied to the participants via Google Forms. After data cleaning, 164 students were included in the analysis. The Independent Samples T-test, ANOVA, and correlation tests were applied since all sub-dimensions of the well-being scale remained within the ±1.5 boundaries of normality. The statistics were formed based on gender (female/male), department (MET/ME), and internship duration (junior/senior). When the analyses are examined, it is seen that female students feel more loneliness than male students. According to the departments, there is a significant difference in all dimensions except the relationship dimension and overall well-being (OWB) score. ME students had higher mean scores in all dimensions. There is a strong, positive relationship between OWB and P, M, E, A, and R dimensions respectively. There is no significant relationship between students' grade point averages and their well-being. It was observed that senior group students had higher averages than junior group students in all dimensions except the engagement dimension and in the OWB score. Additionally in the questionnaire, students were asked an open-ended question about the situations that affect their well-being positively/negatively. When the responses were grouped within themselves, social environment/friendly relations, academic/professional success, engaging in hobbies, economic conditions, and family relations were the most recurring factors, respectively. In this study, the well-being of maritime students holds great importance in connection with the fact that a large portion of accidents at sea are attributed to human factors. It represents a critical step towards determining the psychological and social supports required for ship safety and efficiency.