Publications by Author:

DePasquale N, Polenick CA, Davis KD, Moen P, Hammer LB, Almeida DM. The Psychosocial Implications of Managing Work and Family Caregiving Roles: Gender Differences Among Information Technology Professionals. Journal of Family Issues [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

An increasing number of adults, both men and women, are simultaneously managing work and family caregiving roles. Guided by the stress process model, we investigate whether 823 employees occupying diverse family caregiving roles (child caregiving only, elder caregiving only, and both child caregiving and elder caregiving, or “sandwiched” caregiving) and their noncaregiving counterparts in the information technology division of a white-collar organization differ on several indicators of psychosocial stress along with gender differences in stress exposure. Compared with noncaregivers, child caregivers reported more perceived stress and partner strain whereas elder caregivers reported greater perceived stress and psychological distress. With the exception of work-to-family conflict, sandwiched caregivers reported poorer overall psychosocial functioning. Additionally, sandwiched women reported more family-to-work conflict and less partner support than their male counterparts. Further research on the implications of combining a white-collar employment role with different family caregiving roles is warranted.

Almeida DM, Davis KD, Lee S, Lawson KM, Walter KN, Moen P. Supervisor Support Buffers Daily Psychological and Physiological Reactivity to Work-to-Family Conflict. Journal of Marriage and Family [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Using a daily diary design, the current study assessed within-person associations of work-to-family conflict with negative affect and salivary cortisol. Furthermore, the authors investigated whether supervisor support moderated these associations. Over 8 consecutive days, 131 working parents employed by an information technology company answered telephone interviews about stressors and mood that occurred in the previous 24 hours. On Days 2–4 of the study protocol, they also provided 5 saliva samples throughout the day that were assayed for cortisol. Results indicated a high degree of day-to-day fluctuation in work-to-family conflict, with employed parents having greater negative affect and poorer cortisol regulation on days with higher work-to-family conflict compared to days when they experience lower work-to-family conflict. These associations were buffered, however, when individuals had supervisors who offered support. Discussion centers on the use of dynamic assessments of work-to-family conflict and employee well-being.

DePasquale N, Bangerter, Lauren R, Williams JA, Almeida DM. Certified Nursing Assistants Balancing Family Caregiving Roles: Health Care Utilization Among Double- and Triple-Duty Caregivers. The Gerontologist [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Purpose of the Study: This study examines how certified nursing assistants (CNAs) balancing family caregiving roles—child care (double-duty child caregivers), elder care (double-duty elder caregivers), and both child and elder care (triple-duty caregivers)—utilize health care services relative to nonfamily caregiving counterparts (formal-only caregivers).Design and Methods: A sample of 884 CNAs from the Work, Family and Health Study was drawn on to assess the number of acute care (i.e., emergency room or urgent care facility) and other health care (i.e., outpatient treatment or counseling) visits made during the past 6 months.Results: Double-duty elder and triple-duty caregivers had higher acute care utilization rates than formal-only caregivers. CNAs with and without family caregiving roles had similar rates of other health care visits.Implications: CNAs providing informal care for older adults have higher acute care visit rates. Given the increasing need for family caregivers and the vital importance of the health of the nursing workforce for the health of others, future research on how double- and triple-duty caregivers maintain their health amidst constant caregiving should be a priority.

Davis KD, Lawson KM, Almeida DM, Davis KD, King RB, Hammer LB, Casper LM, Okechukwu CA, Hanson GC, McHale SM. Parent's daily time with their children: A workplace intervention. Pediatrics [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

OBJECTIVES: In the context of a group randomized field trial, we evaluated whether parents who participated in a workplace intervention, designed to increase supervisor support for personal and family life and schedule control, reported significantly more daily time with their children at the 12-month follow-up compared with parents assigned to the Usual Practice group. We also tested whether the intervention effect was moderated by parent gender, child gender, or child age.

METHODS: The Support-Transform-Achieve-Results Intervention was delivered in an information technology division of a US Fortune 500 company. Participants included 93 parents (45% mothers) of a randomly selected focal child aged 9 to 17 years (49% daughters) who completed daily telephone diaries at baseline and 12 months after intervention. During evening telephone calls on 8 consecutive days, parents reported how much time they spent with their child that day.

RESULTS: Parents in the intervention group exhibited a significant increase in parent-child shared time, 39 minutes per day on average, between baseline and the 12-month follow-up. By contrast, parents in the Usual Practice group averaged 24 fewer minutes with their child per day at the 12-month follow-up. Intervention effects were evident for mothers but not for fathers and for daughters but not sons.

CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that the intervention would improve parents’ daily time with their children was supported. Future studies should examine how redesigning work can change the quality of parent-child interactions and activities known to be important for youth health and development.

Moen P, Kaduk A, Kossek EE, Hammer LB, Buxton OM, O'Donnell EM, Almeida DM, Fox K, Tranby E, Oakes MJ, et al. Is Work-family Conflict a Multilevel Stressor Linking Job Conditions to Mental Health? Evidence from the Work, Family and Health Network. In: Research in the Sociology of Work. Vol. 26. Bingley, West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Group Publishing Limited; 2015. pp. pp.177 - 217. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Purpose: Most research on the work conditions and family responsibilities associated with work-family conflict and other measures of mental health uses the individual employee as the unit of analysis. We argue that work conditions are both individual psychosocial assessments and objective characteristics of the proximal work environment, necessitating multilevel analyses of both individual- and team-level work conditions on mental health.
Methodology/approach: This study uses multilevel data on 748 high-tech professionals in 120 teams to investigate relationships between team- and individual-level job conditions, work-family conflict, and four mental health outcomes (job satisfaction, emotional exhaustion, perceived stress, and psychological distress).
Findings: We find that work-to-family conflict is socially patterned across teams, as are job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion. Team-level job conditions predict team-level outcomes, while individuals’ perceptions of their job conditions are better predictors of individuals’ work-to-family conflict and mental health. Work-to-family conflict operates as a partial mediator between job demands and mental health outcomes.
Practical implications: Our findings suggest that organizational leaders concerned about presenteeism, sickness absences, and productivity would do well to focus on changing job conditions in ways that reduce job demands and work-to-family conflict in order to promote employees’ mental health.
Originality/value of the chapter: We show that both work-to-family conflict and job conditions can be fruitfully framed as team characteristics, shared appraisals held in common by team members. This challenges the framing of work-to-family conflict as a “private trouble” and provides support for work-to-family conflict as a structural mismatch grounded in the social and temporal organization of work.

DePasquale N, Davis KD, Zarit SH, Moen P, Hammer LB, Almeida DM.

Combining Formal and Informal Caregiving Roles: The Psychosocial Implications of Double- and Triple-Duty Care

. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences [Internet]. 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Objectives. Women who combine formal and informal caregiving roles represent a unique, understudied population. In the literature, healthcare employees who simultaneously provide unpaid elder care at home have been referred to as double-duty caregivers. The present study broadens this perspective by examining the psychosocial implications of double-duty child care (child care only), double-duty elder care (elder care only), and triple-duty care (both child care and elder care or “sandwiched” care).

Method. Drawing from the Work, Family, and Health Study, we focus on a large sample of women working in nursing homes in the United States (n = 1,399). We use multiple regression analysis and analysis of covariance tests to examine a range of psychosocial implications associated with double- and triple-duty care.

Results. Compared with nonfamily caregivers, double-duty child caregivers indicated greater family-to-work conflict and poorer partner relationship quality. Double-duty elder caregivers reported more family-to-work conflict, perceived stress, and psychological distress, whereas triple-duty caregivers indicated poorer psychosocial functioning overall.

Discussion. Relative to their counterparts without family caregiving roles, women with combined caregiving roles reported poorer psychosocial well-being. Additional research on women with combined caregiving roles, especially triple-duty caregivers, should be a priority amidst an aging population, older workforce, and growing number of working caregivers.

Liu S, Rovine MJ, Klein LC, Almeida DM.

Synchrony of diurnal cortisol pattern in couples

. Journal of Family Psychology [Internet]. 2013;27(4):579-588. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Cortisol is a biomarker of stress reactivity, and its diurnal pattern is an indicator of general neuroendocrine health. Despite theories conceptualizing marital dyads as dynamic systems wherein spouses are interdependent in their physiology and stress coping, little is known about the daily processes in which spouses possibly influence each other in biological stress. Nineteen heterosexual couples provided saliva samples containing cortisol 4 times a day for 4 consecutive days. We used multilevel modeling to examine whether one’s cortisol awaking response (CAR) and diurnal cortisol slope (DCS) predict those of the spouse’s on the same day and/or on the next day. We found that spouses synchronize their DCS, such that on days when one experiences faster or slower decline in diurnal cortisol than usual, the spouse also experiences faster or slower decline than usual. For CAR, positive synchrony was only observed in couples reporting high levels of marital strain and disagreement. Cross-lagged regression analysis reveals stability in diurnal cortisol pattern. A steeper cortisol slope on a particular day predicts a steeper slope on the next day within an individual, but no significant cross-lagged relation was found between spouses. Couples reporting more spousal support tend to have stronger stability in CAR. These findings provide evidence that spouses are interdependent in their diurnal cortisol patterns on a day-to-day basis, and that these daily dynamics are associated with marital relationship quality. The study contributes to our understanding of marital processes and biobehavioral health. It also contributes methodologically to the advancement of longitudinal dyadic analysis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

Bray J, Kelly EL, Hammer LB, Almeida DM, Dearing JW, King RB, Buxton OM. An integrative, multilevel, and transdisciplinary research approach to challenges of work, family, and health. RTI Press. 2013;March.
McHale SM, Blocklin MK, Walter KN, Davis KD, Almeida DM, Klein LC. The role of daily activities in youths' stress physiology. J Adolesc Health. 2012;51(6):623-8.Abstract
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.