Biomarkers are directly-measured biological indicators of disease or health. In population and social sciences, biomarkers need to be easy to obtain, transport, and analyze. Dried Blood Spot (DBS) collection meets this need, can be collected in the field with high response rates and analyzed for a variety of biomarkers.
How are professionals responding to the time strains brought on by the stress of their higher status jobs? Qualitative data from professionals reveal (a) general acceptance of the emerging temporal organization of professional work, including rising time demands and blurred boundaries around work/ nonwork times and places, and (b) time work as strategic responses to work intensification, overloads, and boundarylessness. We detected four time-work strategies: prioritizing time, scaling back obligations, blocking out time, and time shifting of obligations. These strategies are often more work-friendly than family-friendly, but "blocking out time" and "time shifting" suggest promising avenues for work-time policy and practice.
Purpose . To estimate the cost to the workplace of implementing initiatives to reduce work-family conflict. Design . Prospective cost analysis conducted alongside a group-randomized multisite controlled experimental study, using a microcosting approach. Setting . An information technology firm. Subjects . Employees (n = 1004) and managers (n = 141) randomized to the intervention arm. Intervention . STAR (Start. Transform. Achieve. Results.) to enhance employees' control over their work time, increase supervisor support for employees to manage work and family responsibilities, and reorient the culture toward results. Measures . A taxonomy of activities related to customization, start-up, and implementation was developed. Resource use and unit costs were estimated for each activity, excluding research-related activities. Analysis . Economic costing approach (accounting and opportunity costs). Sensitivity analyses on intervention costs. Results . The total cost of STAR was $709,654, of which $389,717 was labor costs and $319,937 nonlabor costs (including $313,877 for intervention contract). The cost per employee participation in the intervention was $340 (95% confidence interval: $330-$351); $597 ($561-$634) for managers and $300 ($292-$308) for other employees (2011 prices). Conclusion . A detailed activity costing approach allows for more accurate cost estimates and identifies key drivers of cost. The key cost driver was employees' time spent on receiving the intervention. Ignoring this cost, which is usual in studies that cost workplace interventions, would seriously underestimate the cost of a workplace initiative.
Recently, scholars have demonstrated the importance of Family Supportive Supervisor Behaviors (FSSB), defined as behaviors exhibited by supervisors that are supportive of employees' family roles, in relation to health, well-being, and organizational outcomes. FSSB was originally conceptualized as a multidimensional, superordinate construct with four subordinate dimensions assessed with 14 items: emotional support, instrumental support, role modeling behaviors, and creative work–family management. Retaining one item from each dimension, two studies were conducted to support the development and use of a new FSSB-Short Form (FSSB-SF). Study 1 draws on the original data from the FSSB validation study of retail employees to determine whether the results using the 14-item measure replicate with the shorter 4-item measure. Using data from a sample of 823 information technology professionals and their 219 supervisors, Study 2 extends the validation of the FSSB-SF to a new sample of professional workers and new outcome variables. Results from multilevel confirmatory factor analyses and multilevel regression analyses provide evidence of construct and criterion-related validity of the FSSB-SF, as it was significantly related to work–family conflict, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, control over work hours, obligation to work when sick, perceived stress, and reports of family time adequacy. We argue that it is important to develop parsimonious measures of work–family specific support to ensure supervisor support for work and family is mainstreamed into organizational research and practice.
Drawing on two waves of survey data conducted six months apart in 2006, this study examined the impacts of a team-level flexibility initiative (ROWE--results only work environment) on changes in the work-home spillover and health behavior of employees at the Midwest headquarters of a large U.S. corporation. Using cluster analysis, we identified three distinct baseline spillover constellations: employees with high negative spillover, high positive spillover, and low overall spillover. Within-team spillover measures were highly intercorrelated, suggesting that work teams as well as individuals have identifiable patterns of spillover. Multilevel analyses showed ROWE reduced individual- and team-level negative work-home spillover but not positive work-home spillover or spillover from home-to-work. ROWE also promoted employees' health behaviors: increasing the odds of quitting smoking, decreasing smoking frequency, and promoting perceptions of adequate time for healthy meals. Trends suggest that ROWE also decreased the odds of excessive drinking and improved sleep adequacy and exercise frequency. Some health behavior effects were mediated via reduced individual-level negative work-home spillover (exercise frequency, adequate time for sleep) and reduced team-level negative work-home spillover (smoking frequency, exercise frequency, and adequate time for sleep). While we found no moderating effects of gender, ROWE especially improved the exercise frequency of singles and reduced the smoking frequency of employees with low overall spillover at baseline.
Building on Karasek and Theorell (R. Karasek & T. Theorell, 1990, Healthy work: Stress, productivity, and the reconstruction of working life, New York, NY: Basic Books), we theorized and tested the relationship between time strain (work-time demands and control) and seven self-reported health outcomes. We drew on survey data from 550 employees fielded before and 6 months after the implementation of an organizational intervention, the results only work environment (ROWE) in a white-collar organization. Cross-sectional (wave 1) models showed psychological time demands and time control measures were related to health outcomes in expected directions. The ROWE intervention did not predict changes in psychological time demands by wave 2, but did predict increased time control (a sense of time adequacy and schedule control). Statistical models revealed increases in psychological time demands and time adequacy predicted changes in positive (energy, mastery, psychological well-being, self-assessed health) and negative (emotional exhaustion, somatic symptoms, psychological distress) outcomes in expected directions, net of job and home demands and covariates. This study demonstrates the value of including time strain in investigations of the health effects of job conditions. Results encourage longitudinal models of change in psychological time demands as well as time control, along with the development and testing of interventions aimed at reducing time strain in different populations of workers.
BACKGROUND: Nursing homes are occupational settings, with an increasing minority and immigrant workforce where several psychosocial stressors intersect.
AIM: This study aimed to examine racial/ethnic differences in job strain between Black (n = 127) and White (n = 110) immigrant and American direct-care workers at nursing homes (total n = 237).
METHODS: Cross-sectional study with data collected at four nursing homes in Massachusetts during 2006-2007. We contrasted Black and White workers within higher-skilled occupations such as registered nurses or licensed practical nurses (n = 82) and lower-skilled staff such as certified nursing assistants (CNAs, n = 155).
RESULTS: Almost all Black workers (96%) were immigrants. After adjusting for demographic and occupational characteristics, Black employees were more likely to report job strain, compared with Whites [relative risk (RR): 2.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3 to 6.6]. Analyses stratified by occupation showed that Black CNAs were more likely to report job strain, compared with White CNAs (RR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.0 to 9.4). Black workers were also more likely to report low control (RR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.1 to 4.0). Additionally, Black workers earned $2.58 less per hour and worked 7.1 more hours per week on average, controlling for potential confounders.
CONCLUSION: Black immigrant workers were 2.9 times more likely to report job strain than White workers, with greater differences among CNAs. These findings may reflect differential organizational or individual characteristics but also interpersonal or institutional racial/ethnic discrimination. Further research should consider the role of race/ethnicity in shaping patterns of occupational stress.
Using data from a daily diary study of hourly hotel employees in the U.S. and their children, this study examined links between youth supervision arrangements and maternal worry while at work, examining both differences between individuals and day-to-day variation within individuals. Multilevel model analyses revealed both between- and within-person effects linking youth supervision to maternal worry. Mothers' partner status functioned as moderator, and maternal knowledge also emerged as a protective factor when youth were in self-care, highlighting a potential target for future work-family interventions, particularly those for hourly employees with limited access to family-friendly workplace policies.En utilisant les données d'une étude de journal quotidien des employés horaires de l'hôtel aux États-Unis et leurs enfants, cette étude a examiné les liens entre les modalités de supervision des jeunes et l'inquiétude maternelle pendant le travail, en examinant à la fois les différences inter individus et la variation intra individus au jour le jour. Analyses multi-niveaux ont révélé à la fois des effets inter et intra reliant la supervision des jeunes à l'inquiétude maternelle. Statut de partenaire des mères a fonctionné en tant que modérateur, et la connaissance maternelle est également apparue comme un facteur de protection lorsque les jeunes ont pris soins d'eux-mêmes, soulignant une cible potentielle pour des interventions de conciliation travail-famille, en particulier ceux conçus pour des employés horaires avec un accès limité à des politiques favorables à la famille.
OBJECTIVE: Supervisor-level policies and the presence of a manager engaged in an employee's need to achieve work-family balance, or "supervisory support," may benefit employee health, including self-reported pain.
METHODS: We conducted a census of employees at four selected extended care facilities in the Boston metropolitan region (n = 368). Supervisory support was assessed through interviews with managers and pain was reported by employees.
RESULTS: Our multilevel logistic models indicate that employees with managers who report the lowest levels of support for work-family balance experience twice as much overall pain as employees with managers who report high levels of support.
CONCLUSIONS: Low supervisory support for work-family balance is associated with an increased prevalence of employee-reported pain in extended care facilities. We recommend that manager-level policies and practices receive additional attention as a potential risk factor for poor health in this setting.
PURPOSE: This study examined links between diurnal patterns of the stress hormone cortisol and time spent by adolescents in nine common daily activities.
METHODS: During eight consecutive nightly telephone interviews, 28 youths (n = 12 girls), 10-18 years of age, reported their daily activities. On 4 days, four saliva samples were also collected and assayed for cortisol. Multilevel models assessed within- and between-person associations between time in each activity and cortisol area under the curve (AUC), cortisol awakening response (CAR), morning peak (30 minutes after wake up), and daily decline (morning peak to bedtime).
RESULTS: Links with AUC were found for most activities; significant associations with cortisol rhythms suggested that most effects were due to anticipation of the day's activities. Specifically, on days when youths spent more time than usual on video games and television, they had lower AUCs, with lower morning peaks. Youths who spent more time reading (within-person) and in computer-related activities (between-person) had higher AUCs, with stronger CARs (within-person). Youths who slept more had lower AUCs, with lower morning peaks on both the between- and within-person levels. Amounts of time spent in clubs, and for older adolescents in sports, were also linked to lower AUCs. Finally, youths who spent more time in school/schoolwork had lower average AUCs, but on days when youths spent more time than usual in school, they had higher AUCs, stronger CARs, and steeper daily declines.
CONCLUSION: Beyond their known implications for psychological adjustment, youths' everyday activities are linked to stress physiology.
OBJECTIVES: We examined the relationship between smoking and work-family conflict among a sample of New England long-term-care facility workers.
METHODS: To collect data, we conducted in-person, structured interviews with workers in 4 extended-care facilities.
RESULTS: There was a strong association between smoking likelihood and work-family conflict. Workers who experienced both stress at home from work issues (i.e., work-to-home conflict) and stress at work from personal issues (i.e., home-to-work conflict) had 3.1 times higher odds of smoking than those who did not experience these types of conflict. Workers who experienced home-to-work conflict had an odds of 2.3 compared with those who did not experience this type of conflict, and workers who experienced work-to-home conflict had an odds of 1.6 compared with workers who did not experience this type of conflict.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that there is a robust relationship between work-family conflict and smoking, but that this relationship is dependent upon the total amount of conflict experienced and the direction of the conflict.
OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the association of household-level stressors with depressive symptoms among low-wage nursing home employees.
METHODS: Data were collected in 2006 and 2007 from 452 multiethnic primary and nonprimary wage earners in 4 facilities in Massachusetts. We used logistic regression to estimate the association of depressive symptoms with household financial strain, food insufficiency, and work-family spillover (preoccupation with work-related concerns while at home and vice versa).
RESULTS: Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with household financial strain (odds ratio [OR] = 1.82; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03, 3.21) and food insufficiency (OR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.10, 4.18). Among primary earners, stratified analyses showed that food insufficiency was associated with depressive symptoms (OR = 3.60; 95% CI = 1.42, 9.11) but financial strain was not. Among nonprimary wage earners, depressive symptoms correlated with financial strain (OR = 3.65; 95% CI = 1.48, 9.01) and work-family spillover (OR = 3.22; 95% CI = 1.11, 9.35).
CONCLUSIONS: Household financial strain, food insufficiency, and work-family spillover are pervasive problems for working populations, but associations vary by primary wage earner status. The prevalence of food insufficiency among full-time employees was striking and might have a detrimental influence on depressive symptoms and the health of working-class families.
We investigate the turnover effects of an organizational innovation (ROWE-Results Only Work Environment) aimed at moving away from standard time practices to focus on results rather than time spent at work. To model rates of turnover, we draw on survey data from a sample of employees at a corporate headquarters (N = 775) and institutional records of turnover over eight months following the ROWE implementation. We find the odds of turnover are indeed lower for employees participating in the ROWE initiative, which offers employees greater work-time control and flexibility, and that this is the case regardless of employees' gender, age, or family life stage. ROWE also moderates the turnover effects of organizational tenure and negative home-to-work spillover, physical symptoms, and job insecurity, with those in ROWE who report these situations generally less likely to leave the organization. Additionally, ROWE reduces turnover intentions among those remaining with the corporation. This research moves the "opting-out" argument from one of private troubles to an issue of greater employee work-time control and flexibility by showing that an organizational policy initiative can reduce turnover.
STUDY OBJECTIVES: o advance our understanding of the interplay of socioeconomic factors, occupational exposures, and race/ethnicity as they relate to sleep duration. We hypothesize that non Hispanic African/Caribbean immigrant employees in long term health care have shorter sleep duration than non Hispanic white employees, and that low education, low income, and occupational exposures including night work and job strain account for some of the African/Caribbean immigrant-white difference in sleep duration.
DESIGN: Cross sectional
SETTING: Four extended care facilities in Massachusetts, United States
PARTICIPANTS: 340 employees in extended care facilities
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Sleep duration was assessed with wrist actigraphy for a mean of 6.3 days. In multivariable regression modeling controlling for gender and age, African/Caribbean immigrants slept 64.4 fewer minutes (95% CI: -81.0, -47.9) per night than white participants; additional control for education and income reduced the racial gap to 50.9 minutes (-69.2, -32.5); additional control for the occupational factors of hours worked per week and working the night shift reduced the racial gap to 37.7 minutes (-57.8, -17.6).
CONCLUSIONS: his study provides support for the hypothesis that socioeconomic and occupational characteristics explain some of the African/ Caribbean immigrant-white difference in sleep duration in the United States, especially among health care workers.
Kossek E, Michel J. Flexible work schedules. In: Handbook of industrial-organizational psychology. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association ; 2011. pp. 535–572.
This article uses meta-analysis to develop a model integrating research on relationships between employee perceptions of general and work-family-specific supervisor and organizational support and work-family conflict. Drawing on 115 samples from 85 studies comprising 72,507 employees, we compared the relative influence of 4 types of workplace social support to work-family conflict: perceived organizational support (POS); supervisor support; perceived organizational work-family support, also known as family-supportive organizational perceptions (FSOP); and supervisor work-family support. Results show work-family-specific constructs of supervisor support and organization support are more strongly related to work-family conflict than general supervisor support and organization support, respectively. We then test a mediation model assessing the effects of all measures at once and show positive perceptions of general and work-family-specific supervisor indirectly relate to work-family conflict via organizational work-family support. These results demonstrate that work-family-specific support plays a central role in individuals' work-family conflict experiences.
Drawing on a conceptual model integrating research on training, work–family interventions, and social support, we conducted a quasi-experimental field study to assess the impact of a supervisor training and self-monitoring intervention designed to increase supervisors' use of family-supportive supervisor behaviors. Pre- and postintervention surveys were completed, 9 months apart, by 239 employees at 6 intervention (N = 117) and 6 control (N = 122) grocery store sites. Thirty-nine supervisors in the 6 intervention sites received the training consisting of 1 hr of self-paced computer-based training, 1 hr of face-to-face group training, followed by instructions for behavioral self-monitoring (recording the frequency of supportive behaviors) to facilitate on-the-job transfer. Results demonstrated a disordinal interaction for the effect of training and family-to-work conflict on employee job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and physical health. In particular, for these outcomes, positive training effects were observed for employees with high family-to-work conflict, whereas negative training effects were observed for employees with low family-to-work conflict. These moderation effects were mediated by the interactive effect of training and family-to-work conflict on employee perceptions of family-supportive supervisor behaviors. Implications of our findings for future work–family intervention development and evaluation are discussed.
To examine the relation between having a child aged 18 years and under in the home and employee depressive symptoms, we analyzed cross-sectional data from four extended care facilities in Boston, MA (n = 376 employees). Results show that having a child is associated with slightly higher depressive symptoms. The strength of this relationship in our models is attenuated with the inclusion of social support at home (β = 1.08 and β = 0.85, with and without support, respectively) and may differ by gender. We recommend that future research examine the role of parenting and social support in predicting employee mental health.