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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This article investigates a change in the structuring of work time, using a natural experiment to test whether participation in a corporate initiative (Results Only Work Environment; ROWE) predicts corresponding changes in health-related outcomes. Drawing on job strain and stress process models, we theorize greater schedule control and reduced work-family conflict as key mechanisms linking this initiative with health outcomes. Longitudinal survey data from 659 employees at a corporate headquarters shows that ROWE predicts changes in health-related behaviors, including almost an extra hour of sleep on work nights. Increasing employees' schedule control and reducing their work-family conflict are key mechanisms linking the ROWE innovation with changes in employees' health behaviors; they also predict changes in well-being measures, providing indirect links between ROWE and well-being. This study demonstrates that organizational changes in the structuring of time can promote employee wellness, particularly in terms of prevention behaviors.
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.
Work-family conflicts are common and consequential for employees, their families, and work organizations. Can workplaces be changed to reduce work-family conflict? Previous research has not been able to assess whether workplace policies or initiatives succeed in reducing work-family conflict or increasing work-family fit. Using longitudinal data collected from 608 employees of a white-collar organization before and after a workplace initiative was implemented, we investigate whether the initiative affects work-family conflict and fit, whether schedule control mediates these effects, and whether work demands, including long hours, moderate the initiative's effects on work-family outcomes. Analyses clearly demonstrate that the workplace initiative positively affects the work-family interface, primarily by increasing employees' schedule control. This study points to the importance of schedule control for our understanding of job quality and for management policies and practices.
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.
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 integrates research on gendered organizations and the work-family interface to investigate an innovative workplace initiative, the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), implemented in the corporate headquarters of Best Buy, Inc. While flexible work policies common in other organizations "accommodate" individuals, this initiative attempts a broader and deeper critique of the organizational culture. We address two research questions: How does this initiative attempt to change the masculinized ideal worker norm? And what do women's and men's responses reveal about the persistent ways that gender structures work and family life? Data demonstrate the ideal worker norm is pervasive and powerful, even as employees begin critically examining expectations regarding work time that have historically privileged men. Employees' responses to ROWE are also gendered. Women (especially mothers) are more enthusiastic, while men are more cautious. Ambivalence about and resistance to change is expressed in different ways depending on gender and occupational status.
Due to growing work-family demands, supervisors need to effectively exhibit family supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB). Drawing on social support theory and using data from two samples of lower wage workers, the authors develop and validate a measure of FSSB, defined as behaviors exhibited by supervisors that are supportive of families. FSSB is conceptualized as a multidimensional superordinate construct with four subordinate dimensions: emotional support, instrumental support, role modeling behaviors, and creative work-family management. Results from multilevel confirmatory factor analyses and multilevel regression analyses provide evidence of construct, criterion-related, and incremental validity. The authors found FSSB to be significantly related to work-family conflict, work-family positive spillover, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions over and above measures of general supervisor support.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article was to integrate home demands with the demand-control-support model to test if home demands interact with job strain to increase depressive symptoms.
METHODS: Data were from 431 employees in four extended care facilities. Presence of a child younger than 18 years in the household signified home demands. The outcome was depressive symptoms based on a shortened version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.
RESULTS: The association between job strain and depressive symptoms was moderated by social support (SS) and presence of a child in the household (child). There was no association among participants with high SS and no child, but a positive one among participants with low SS and a child.
CONCLUSIONS: Job strain may be a particularly important determinant of depressive symptoms among employees with family demands. Models of job strain should expand to incorporate family demands.
This study moves from "work-family" to a multi-dimensional "life-course fit" construct (employees' cognitive assessments of resources, resource deficits, and resource demands), using a combined work-family, demands-control and ecology of the life course framing. It examined (1) impacts of job and home ecological systems on fit dimensions, and (2) whether control over work time predicted and mediated life-course fit outcomes. Using cluster analysis of survey data on a sample of 917 white-collar employees from Best Buy headquarters, we identified four job ecologies (corresponding to the job demands-job control model) and five home ecologies (theorizing an analogous home demands-home control model). Job and home ecologies predicted fit dimensions in an additive, not interactive, fashion. Employees' work-time control predicted every life-course fit dimension and partially mediated effects of job ecologies, organizational tenure, and job category.
Many employing organizations have adopted work-family policies, programs, and benefits. Yet managers in employing organizations simply do not know what organizational initiatives actually reduce work-family conflict and how these changes are likely to impact employees and the organization. We examine scholarship that addresses two broad questions: first, do work-family initiatives reduce employees' work-family conflict and/or improve work-family enrichment? Second, does reduced work-family conflict improve employees' work outcomes and, especially, business outcomes at the organizational level? We review over 150 peer-reviewed studies from a number of disciplines in order to summarize this rich literature and identify promising avenues for research and conceptualization. We propose a research agenda based on four primary conclusions: the need for more multi-level research, the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach, the benefits of longitudinal studies that employ quasi-experimental or experimental designs and the challenges of translating research into practice in effective ways.