An Empirical Review of the Mental Health and Well-being of Online Instructors


  • Erica Makarenko
  • Jac J.W. Andrews



This current review examined the findings from the empirical literature relative to the mental health and well-being of distance learning instructors and the social-emotional influences and effects of online instruction with attention to associated gender differences. A systematic literature review was conducted; as a result, it appears that there is a paucity of research related to the mental health and well-being of online instructors in higher education settings. Of this limited research, results indicate that online instructors are more susceptible to experiences of isolation and emotional distress than face-to-face instructors and that female instructors tend to fare worse in terms of experiencing emotional distress than their male counterparts. However, there are mixed findings with respect to these results. Continued research in this area is warranted due to the limited number of studies and mixed findings in this area especially due to the growing rate of online course delivery in higher education. The implications from the research findings and some future research directions are discussed.