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Journal of Occupational Health Psychology - Vol 20, Iss 1

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Journal of Occupational Health Psychology The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology publishes research, theory, and public policy articles in occupational health psychology, an interdisciplinary field representing a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and specializations. Occupational health psychology concerns the application of psychology to improving the quality of worklife and to protecting and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of workers. The Journal has a threefold focus on the work environment, the individual and the work family interface.
Copyright 2015 American Psychological Association
  • The reliability, validity, and accuracy of self-reported absenteeism from work: A meta-analysis.
    Because of a variety of access limitations, self-reported absenteeism from work is often employed in research concerning health, organizational behavior, and economics, and it is ubiquitous in large scale population surveys in these domains. Several well established cognitive and social-motivational biases suggest that self-reports of absence will exhibit convergent validity with records-based measures but that people will tend to underreport the behavior. We used meta-analysis to summarize the reliability, validity, and accuracy of absence self-reports. The results suggested that self-reports of absenteeism offer adequate test–retest reliability and that they exhibit reasonably good rank order convergence with organizational records. However, people have a decided tendency to underreport their absenteeism, although such underreporting has decreased over time. Also, self-reports were more accurate when sickness absence rather than absence for any reason was probed. It is concluded that self-reported absenteeism might serve as a valid measure in some correlational research designs. However, when accurate knowledge of absolute absenteeism levels is essential, the tendency to underreport could result in flawed policy decisions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A national standard for psychosocial safety climate (PSC): PSC 41 as the benchmark for low risk of job strain and depressive symptoms.
    Despite decades of research from around the world now permeating occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation and guidelines, there remains a lack of tools to guide practice. Our main goal was to establish benchmark levels of psychosocial safety climate (PSC) that would signify risk of job strain (jobs with high demands and low control) and depression in organizations. First, to justify our focus on PSC, using interview data from Australian employees matched at 2 time points 12 months apart (n = 1081), we verified PSC as a significant leading predictor of job strain and in turn depression. Next, using 2 additional data sets (n = 2097 and n = 1043) we determined benchmarks of organizational PSC (range 12–60) for low-risk (PSC at 41 or above) and high-risk (PSC at 37 or below) of employee job strain and depressive symptoms. Finally, using the newly created benchmarks we estimated the population attributable risk (PAR) and found that improving PSC in organizations to above 37 could reduce 14% of job strain and 16% of depressive symptoms in the working population. The results provide national standards that organizations and regulatory agencies can utilize to promote safer working environments and lower the risk of harm to employee mental health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Shift rotation, overtime, age, and anxiety as predictors of offshore sleep patterns.
    Shift work on offshore oil/gas installations necessitates 12 h shifts and rapid day/night shift changes. In the North Sea, both ‘fixed-shift’ (alternate day-shift and night-shift tours) and ‘swing-shift’ rotations (with a midtour shift change) are operated. The present study used survey data (n = 775) to examine sleep patterns over 3 ‘phases’ of the offshore work cycle (day shifts, DS; night shifts, NS; and leave weeks, LS) in relation to shift roster, overtime, age, offshore shift work exposure, and anxiety. Specific predictions were tested in a mixed-model ANOVA in which DS, NS, and LS sleep were treated as repeated measures. Sleep duration and sleep quality were predicted by significant interactions of phase with roster, anxiety, age, and shift work exposure, but the patterns of findings differed across DS, NS and LS. Consistent with other published findings, personnel working 2-week nights-to-days swing shifts reported shorter DS and NS sleep duration than those working fixed shifts. Extended 3-week tours (7 nights/14 days) showed an advantage only for DS sleep. There was no evidence that LS sleep was impaired following night-shift work. Overtime was negatively related only to NS sleep duration. Anxiety predicted poor NS and DS sleep; the relationship between age and NS sleep quality was curvilinear with minimum values at 38–42 y. Shift work exposure negatively predicted NS (but not DS or LS) sleep. The results are discussed in relation to the initial predictions; more general implications of the findings, and methodological limitations of the work, are considered in a final section. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The psychological well-being of disability caregivers: Examining the roles of family strain, family-to-work conflict, and perceived supervisor support.
    We draw on the cross-domain model of work–family conflict and conservation of resources theory to examine the relationship between disability caregiving demands and the psychological well-being of employed caregivers. Using a sample of employed disability caregivers from a national survey, we found that the relationship between caregiving demands and family-to-work conflict was stronger when employees experienced high levels of strain from family. Additionally, we found high levels of family to-work conflict were subsequently associated with decreases in life satisfaction and increases in depression, but only when perceived supervisor support was low. Overall, our findings suggest an indirect relationship between caregiving demands and psychological well-being that is mediated by family-to-work conflict and is conditional on family strain and perceived supervisor support. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A longitudinal examination of re-employment quality on internalizing symptoms and job-search intentions.
    Underemployed workers—those receiving less pay, working fewer hours, or using fewer skills than they would prefer—appear to experience negative mental health outcomes similar to the unemployed. Prior cross-sectional research provides mixed empirical evidence for this conclusion, however. The current study sought to clarify the impact of underemployment longitudinally, assessing mental health 5 times over 8 months after job loss. In addition to the commonly used indicators of underemployment, we designed a measure of cognitive complexity using the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), an extensive government database used to organize and categorize occupational information. Replicating past research, we found concurrent associations between all indexes of reemployment job quality and internalizing symptoms in the period immediately after reemployment. However, when controlling for quality of prior employment, all indicators except our measure for cognitive complexity became nonsignificant. As participants transitioned from unemployment to reemployment, only reductions in cognitive complexity were associated with sustained general internalizing symptoms. We also found that although changes in cognitive complexity had an immediate impact on the well-being of the recently reemployed, only the number of available weekly hours (full-time vs. part-time status) was relevant 6 to 12 weeks later. Our longitudinal model thus provides significant nuance to the current understanding of underemployment and mental health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Dynamics of a wellness program: A conservation of resources perspective.
    We leverage conservation of resources theory to explain possible dynamics through which a holistic wellness program results in positive longer-term outcomes. Specifically, we hypothesize that wellness self-efficacy at the end of a wellness program will create a positive resource gain spiral, increasing psychological availability (a sense of having cognitive, physical, and emotional resources to engage oneself) 6 months later, and career satisfaction, 1 year later. To test these hypotheses, using a time-lagged with control group design, we gathered questionnaire data from 160 Episcopal priests who participated in a 10-day off-site wellness program. We developed a scale measuring self-efficacy in the 4 wellness areas the program was designed to improve: physical, spiritual, financial, and vocational. Our findings provide evidence from a field setting of a relatively untested tenet of conservation of resources theory, resource gain spirals. The wellness program that we studied served as an opportunity for participants to gain new resources in the form of wellness self-efficacy, which in turn helped participants experience positive outcomes over time. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of the findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Sometimes it hurts when supervisors don’t listen: The antecedents and consequences of safety voice among young workers.
    We examined the relationship among having ideas about how to improve occupational safety, speaking up about them (safety voice), and future work-related injuries. One hundred fifty-five employed teenagers completed 3 surveys with a 1-month lag between each survey. We found that participants who were more likely to have ideas about how to improve occupational safety and had high affective commitment to the organization reported the highest level of safety voice. In turn, supervisor openness to voice moderated the relationship between safety voice and future work-related injuries. Specifically, future work-related injuries were most frequent when high levels of safety voice were combined with low supervisor openness to voice. The tested model clarifies the conditions under which workers share safety-related ideas with a supervisor and the real consequences of speaking up about them. We discuss the implications of these findings for safety management. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Setting a good example: Supervisors as work-life-friendly role models within the context of boundary management.
    This multisource, multilevel study examined the importance of supervisors as work-life-friendly role models for employees’ boundary management. Particularly, we tested whether supervisors’ work-home segmentation behavior represents work-life-friendly role modeling for their employees. Furthermore, we tested whether work-life-friendly role modeling is positively related to employees’ work-home segmentation behavior. Also, we examined whether work-life-friendly role modeling is positively related to employees’ well-being in terms of feeling less exhausted and disengaged. In total, 237 employees and their 75 supervisors participated in our study. Results from hierarchical linear models revealed that supervisors who showed more segmentation behavior to separate work and home were more likely perceived as work-life-friendly role models. Employees with work-life-friendly role models were more likely to segment between work and home, and they felt less exhausted and disengaged. One may conclude that supervisors as work-life-friendly role models are highly important for employees’ work-home segmentation behavior and gatekeepers to implement a work-life-friendly organizational culture. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Do positive affectivity and boundary preferences matter for work–family enrichment? A study of human service workers.
    More individuals than ever are managing work and family roles, but relatively little research has been done exploring whether boundary preferences help individuals benefit from multiple role memberships. Drawing on Greenhaus and Powell’s (2006) work–family enrichment theory, along with Boundary Theory (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000) and Conservation of Resources Theory (Hobfoll, 2002), we explore the impact of personal characteristics as enablers of work–family enrichment, and in turn, work outcomes relevant to human service workers: turnover intentions and emotional exhaustion. In a 2-wave study of 161 human service employees, we found that individuals high in positive affectivity were more likely to experience both work-to-family and family to-work enrichment, whereas those with preferences toward integration were more likely to experience work-to-family enrichment (but not family to-work enrichment). In turn, work-to-family enrichment (but not family to-work enrichment) was related to lower turnover intentions and emotional exhaustion. Enrichment served as a mediating mechanism for only some of the hypothesized relationships. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A longitudinal investigation of workplace bullying, basic need satisfaction, and employee functioning.
    Drawing on self-determination theory, this study proposes and tests a model investigating the role of basic psychological need satisfaction in relation to workplace bullying and employee functioning (burnout, work engagement, and turnover intention). For this study, data were collected at 2 time points, over a 12-month period, from a sample of 699 nurses. The results from cross-lagged analyses support the proposed model. Results show that workplace bullying thwarts the satisfaction of employees’ basic psychological needs and fosters burnout 12 months later. In addition, when taking into account the cross-lagged effect of workplace bullying on employee functioning, basic need satisfaction fosters work engagement and hinders turnover intention over time. Implications for workplace bullying research and managerial practices are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Effect of workplace incivility on end-of-work negative affect: Examining individual and organizational moderators in a daily diary study.
    Although previous studies have linked workplace incivility with various negative outcomes, they mainly focused on the long-term effects of chronic exposure to workplace incivility, whereas targets’ short-term reactions to incivility episodes have been largely neglected. Using a daily diary design, the current study examined effects of daily workplace incivility on end-of-work negative affect and explored potential individual and organizational moderators. Data collected from 76 full-time employees across 10 consecutive working days revealed that daily workplace incivility positively predicted end-of-work negative affect while controlling for before-work negative affect. Further, the relationship was stronger for people with low emotional stability, high hostile attribution bias, external locus of control, and people experiencing low chronic workload and more chronic organizational constraints, as compared with people with high emotional stability, low hostile attribution bias, internal locus of control, and people experiencing high chronic workload and fewer chronic organizational constraints, respectively. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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