Prior research shows that employees’ work experiences can “spill over” into their family lives and “cross over” to affect family members. Expanding on studies that emphasize negative implications of work for family life, this study examined positive work-to-family spillover and positive and negative crossover between mothers and their children. Participants were 174 mothers in the extended care (nursing home) industry and their children (ages 9–17), both of whom completed daily diaries on the same 8 consecutive evenings. On each workday, mothers reported whether they had a positive experience at work, youth reported on their mothers’ positive and negative mood after work, and youth rated their own mental (positive and negative affect) and physical health (physical health symptoms, sleep quality, sleep duration). Results of 2-level models showed that mothers’ positive mood after work, on average, was directly related to youth reports of more positive affect, better sleep quality, and longer sleep duration. In addition, mothers with more positive work experiences, on average, displayed less negative mood after work, and in turn, adolescents reported less negative affect and fewer physical health symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of daily family system dynamics.
DePasquale N, Davis KD, Zarit SH, Moen P, Hammer LB, Almeida DM.
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.
Kelly EL, Moen P, Oakes MJ, Fan W, Okechukwu C, Davis KD, Hammer LB, Kossek EE, King RB, Hanson GC, et al.
Schedule control and supervisor support for family and personal life may help employees manage the work-family interface. Existing data and research designs, however, have made it difficult to conclusively identify the effects of these work resources. This analysis utilizes a group-randomized trial in which some units in an information technology workplace were randomly assigned to participate in an initiative, called STAR, that targeted work practices, interactions, and expectations by (1) training supervisors on the value of demonstrating support for employees’ personal lives and (2) prompting employees to reconsider when and where they work. We find statistically significant, although modest, improvements in employees’ work-family conflict and family time adequacy, and larger changes in schedule control and supervisor support for family and personal life. We find no evidence that this intervention increased work hours or perceived job demands, as might have happened with increased permeability of work across time and space. Subgroup analyses suggest the intervention brought greater benefits to employees more vulnerable to work-family conflict. This study uses a rigorous design to investigate deliberate organizational changes and their effects on work resources and the work-family interface, advancing our understanding of the impact of social structures on individual lives.
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.