Vol 72, No 2 (2021)
Original article
Published online: 2021-06-28

open access

Page views 1105
Article views/downloads 976
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Quest for life satisfaction in the sea of loneliness

Sagaljit Kaur Sekhon1, Manjari Srivastava2
Pubmed: 34212352
IMH 2021;72(2):121-128.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate whether workplace loneliness is related to life satisfaction of seafarers on board deep-sea going cargo ships and to determine whether there exist differences in experienced workplace loneliness and life satisfaction between officers and ratings.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional research design was used to assess the variables in a sample of 521 seafarers sailing on foreign going vessels.
Results: The findings showed that workplace loneliness was an important dimension for determining life satisfaction. As for the differences in the experienced loneliness, the findings show that there is a difference between officers and ratings. The findings support the theory of need for belongingness, which emphasizes the importance of interpersonal relations at work in understanding the well-being among workers.
Conclusions: This study is of practical significance to ship owners and ship managers, where they can use the findings to implement interventions for improving the individual’s life satisfaction.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Ho M, Cheung F, Cheung S. Personality and life events as predictors of adolescents’ life satisfaction: do life events mediate the link between personality and life satisfaction? Soc Indic Res. 2008; 89(3): 457–471.
  2. Starr T, Currie G. ‘Out of sight but still in the picture’: short-term international assignments and the influential role of family. Int J Hum Resour Manag. 2009; 20(6): 1421–1438.
  3. Wright SL. Loneliness in the Workplace. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology University of Canterbury, Canterbury 2006.
  4. Erdogan B, Bauer T, Truxillo D, et al. Mansfield, LR. Whistle while you work: A review of the life satisfaction literature. J Manag. 2012; 38(4): 1038–1083.
  5. Siahpush M, Spittal M, Singh GK. Happiness and life satisfaction prospectively predict self-rated health, physical health, and the presence of limiting, long-term health conditions. Am J Health Promot. 2008; 23(1): 18–26.
  6. Proctor C, Linley P, Maltby J. Youth life satisfaction: a review of the literature. J Happiness Stud. 2008; 10(5): 583–630.
  7. Blanchflower D, Oswald A. International Happiness: A New View on the Measure of Performance. Acad Manag Perspect. 2011; 25(1): 6–22.
  8. Diener E, Oishi S, Lucas RE. Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annu Rev Psychol. 2003; 54: 403–425.
  9. Diener Ed, Suh E, Lucas R, et al. Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychol Bull. 1999; 125(2): 276–302.
  10. Firoz M, Chaudhary R, Khan A. Desolated milieu: exploring the trajectory of workplace loneliness (2006-2019). Manag Res Rev. 2020; 44(5): 757–780.
  11. Erdil O, Ertosun Ö. The relationship between social climate and loneliness in the workplace and effects on employee well-being. Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2011; 24: 505–525.
  12. Ayazlar G, Güzel B. The effect of loneliness in the workplace on organizational commitment. Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2014; 131: 319–325.
  13. Lam L, Lau D. Feeling lonely at work: investigating the consequences of unsatisfactory workplace relationships. Int J Hum Resour Manag. 2012; 23(20): 4265–4282.
  14. Tabancali E. The relationship between teachers’ job satisfaction and loneliness at the workplace. Eurasian J Edu Res. 2016; 16(66): 1–30.
  15. Dick F, Ponsonby W. Occupational Remote Environments Health. In Remote Medicine: A Textbook For Trainee And Established Remote Healthcare Practitioners. World Scientific Publishing Company, 2020 : 237–257.
  16. Smith A, Lane T, Bloor M, Allen P. Fatigue offshore: Phase 2 The short sea and coastal shipping industry. Cardiff: Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC)/Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology. Cardiff University 2003.
  17. Smith AP, Lane T, Bloor M. Fatigue offshore: A comparison of offshore oil support shipping and the offshore oil industry. Seafarers International research Centre/Centre for Occupational and health. Psychology 2001.
  18. Håvold JI. Safety-culture in a Norwegian shipping company. J Safety Res. 2005; 36(5): 441–458.
  19. Peplau L, Perlman D. Perspectives on loneliness Loneliness: A source book of current theory, research and therapy. John Wiley, New York 1982: Sons.
  20. Sawir E, Marginson S, Deumert A, et al. Loneliness and international students: an Australian study. J Stud Int Educ. 2007; 12(2): 148–180.
  21. Gökçek V, Tavacıoğlu L. A quantitative analysis on leisure participation of turkish seafarers by structural equation modeling. Engineering Sciences. E-Journal of New World Sciences Academy. 2018; 13(2): 137–155.
  22. Sampson H, Thomas M. The social isolation of seafarers: causes, effects, and remedies. Int Marit Health. 2003; 54(1-4): 58–67.
  23. Jaremin B. Work-site casualties and environmental risk assessment on Polish vessels in the years 1960-1999. Int Marit Health. 2005; 56(1-4): 17–27.
  24. International Maritime Organization. Guidelines on Fatigue. IMO Publishing 2002.
  25. Veenhoven R. Developments in satisfaction-research. Soc Indic Res. 1996; 37(1): 1–46.
  26. Heller D, Watson D, Hies R. The role of person versus situation in life satisfaction: a critical examination. Psychol Bull. 2004; 130(4): 574–600.
  27. Wright SL, Burt CD, Strongman KT. Loneliness at the workplace: Construct Definition and Scale Development. NZ J Psychol. 2006; 35: 59–68.
  28. Wittenberg M, Reis H. Loneliness, social skills, and social perception. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2016; 12(1): 121–130.
  29. Ashkanasy N, Nicholson G. Climate of fear in organisational settings: construct definition, measurement and a test of theory. Aust J Psychol. 2006; 55(1): 24–29.
  30. Raabe B, Beehr T. Formal mentoring versus supervisor and coworker relationships: differences in perceptions and impact. J Organizational Behavior. 2003; 24(3): 271–293.
  31. Herrbach O, Mignonac K, Gatignon AL. Exploring the role of perceived external prestige in managers' turnover intentions. Int J Hum Resour Manag. 2004; 15(8): 1390–1407.
  32. Hafez AA. Seafarers' social life and its effect on maritime safety with respect to Egyptian seafarer. 46; 1999.
  33. Santas G, Isik O, Demir A. The effect of loneliness at work; work stress on work alienation and work alienation on employees’ performance in Turkish health care institution. South Asian Journal of Management Sciences. 2016; 10: 30–38.
  34. Wright S. Is it lonely at the top? An empirical study of managers' and nonmanagers' loneliness in organizations. The Journal of Loneliness . J Psychol. 2012; 146(1-2): 47–60.
  35. Bell R, Roloff M, Van Camp K, et al. Is It Lonely at the Top?: Career Success and Personal Relationships. J Comm. 2006; 40(1): 9–23.
  36. Lucas R, Dyrenforth P, Diener Ed. Four myths about subjective well-being. Soc Personal Psychol Compass. 2008; 2(5): 2001–2015.
  37. Hart P. Predicting employee life satisfaction: A coherent model of personality, work, and nonwork experiences, and domain satisfactions. J Appl Psychol. 1999; 84(4): 564–584.
  38. Myers DG, Diener E. Who is happy? Psychol Sci. 1995; 16: 10–19.
  39. Bowling N, Eschleman K, Wang Q. A meta-analytic examination of the relationship between job satisfaction and subjective well-being. J Occup Organ Psychol. 2011; 83(4): 915–934.
  40. Doyle D, Forehand MJ. Life satisfaction and old age. A reexamination. Res Aging. 1984; 6(3): 432–448.
  41. Zhou X. A review of researches workplace loneliness. J Psychology. 2018; 9(5): 1005–1022.
  42. Wright SL. Loneliness in the workplace. University of Canterbury. J Psychol. 2005.
  43. Loewe N, Bagherzadeh M, Araya-Castillo L, et al. Life domain satisfactions as predictors of overall life satisfaction among workers: evidence from chile. Soc Indic Res. 2014; 118: 71–86.
  44. Chang SJ, Witteloostuijn Av, Eden L. From the Editors: Common method variance in international business research. J Int Bus Stud. 2010; 41(2): 178–184.
  45. Rojas M. Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: is it a simple relationship? J Happiness Stud. 2006; 7(4): 467–497.
  46. Lee F, Tiedens L. Is it lonely at the top?: The independence and interdependence of power holders. Res Organ Behav. 2001; 23: 43–91.
  47. Österman C, Hult C. Administrative burdens and over-exertion in Swedish short sea shipping. Marit Policy Manag. 2016; 43(5): 569–579.
  48. Bruce K, Nyland C. Elton mayo and the deification of human relations. Organ Stud. 2011; 32(3): 383–405.
  49. Bogler R, Somech A. Influence of teacher empowerment on teachers’ organizational commitment, professional commitment and organizational citizenship behavior in schools. Teach Teach Educ. 2004; 20(3): 277–289.
  50. Hetherington C, Flin R, Mearns K. Safety in shipping: the human element. J Safety Res. 2006; 37(4): 401–411.