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Journal of Occupational Health Psychology - Vol 19, Iss 3

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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 2014 American Psychological Association
  • Why do employees worry about their jobs? A meta-analytic review of predictors of job insecurity.
    We used psychological contract theory as a framework to meta-analytically review subjective and objective predictors of employees’ perceived job insecurity. Seventy-six samples from 68 studies were included in our review. Results revealed that lower levels of job insecurity are associated with having an internal locus of control, lower amounts of role ambiguity and role conflict, greater amounts of organizational communication, less organizational change, younger employees, and white-collar and permanent work. Moderator analyses further revealed that relations between job insecurity and age, gender, education, and formal contracts are moderated by unemployment rates, countries of origin, and type of job insecurity measure. We discuss theoretical and practical implications for psychological contract theory and occupational health, and offer directions for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Psychosocial safety climate, emotional demands, burnout, and depression: A longitudinal multilevel study in the Malaysian private sector.
    This multilevel longitudinal study investigates a newly identified climate construct, psychosocial safety climate (PSC), as a precursor to job characteristics (e.g., emotional demands), and psychological outcomes (i.e., emotional exhaustion and depression). We argued that PSC, as an organizational climate construct, has cross-level effects on individually perceived job design and psychological outcomes. We hypothesized a mediation process between PSC and emotional exhaustion particularly through emotional demands. In sequence, we predicted that emotional exhaustion would predict depression. At Time 1, data were collected from employees in 36 Malaysian private sector organizations (80% responses rate), n = 253 (56%), and at Time 2 from 27 organizations (60%) and n = 117 (46%). Using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), we found that there were cross-level effects of PSC Time 1 on emotional demands Time 2 and emotional exhaustion Time 2, but not on depression Time 2, across a 3-month time lag. We found evidence for a lagged mediated effect; emotional demands mediated the relationship between PSC and emotional exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion did not predict depression. Finally, our results suggest that PSC is an important organizational climate construct, and acts to reduce employee psychological problems in the workplace, via working conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Burnout and daily recovery: A day reconstruction study.
    What can employees who are at risk of burnout do in their off-job time to recover adequately from their work? Extending the effort-recovery theory, we hypothesize that the continuation of work during off-job time results in lower daily recovery, whereas engagement in ‘nonwork’ activities (low-effort, social, and physical activities) results in higher daily recovery for employees who are at risk of burnout versus employees with low levels of burnout. A day reconstruction method was used to assess daily time spent on off-job activities after work, and daily recovery levels (i.e., physical vigor, cognitive liveliness, and recovery). In total, 287 employees filled in a general questionnaire to assess general levels of burnout. Thereafter, participants were asked to reconstruct their off-job time use and state recovery levels during 2 workweeks, resulting in a total of 2,122 workdays. Results of multilevel modeling supported all hypotheses, except the hypothesis regarding off-job time spent on physical activities. The findings contribute to the literature by showing that employees who are at risk of burnout should stop working and start spending time on nonwork activities to adequately recover from work on a daily basis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Workplace mistreatment climate and potential employee and organizational outcomes: A meta-analytic review from the target’s perspective.
    This meta-analytic study summarizes relations between workplace mistreatment climate—MC (specific to incivility, aggression, and bullying) and potential outcomes. We define MC as individual or shared perceptions of organizational policies, procedures, and practices that deter interpersonal mistreatment. We located 35 studies reporting results with individual perceptions of MC (psychological MC) that yielded 36 independent samples comprising 91,950 employees. Through our meta-analyses, we found significant mean correlations between psychological MC and employee and organizational outcomes including mistreatment reduction effort (motivation and performance), mistreatment exposure, strains, and job attitudes. Moderator analyses revealed that the psychological MC-outcome relations were generally stronger for perceived civility climate than for perceived aggression-inhibition climate, and content contamination of existing climate scales accentuated the magnitude of the relations between psychological MC and some outcomes (mistreatment exposure and employee strains). Further, the magnitudes of the psychological MC-outcome relations were generally comparable across studies using dominant (i.e., most commonly used) and other climate scales, but for some focal relations, magnitudes varied with respect to cross-sectional versus prospective designs. The 4 studies that assessed MC at the unit-level had results largely consistent with those at the employee level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • High job strain is associated with inflammatory markers of disease in young long-haul bus drivers.
    Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. The study was aimed to investigate the association between job strain and inflammation markers and to examine factors contributing to high strain. The long-haul bus drivers (n = 825) were recruited from a Taiwanese transportation company. The psychosocial work environment was measured by a validated job content questionnaire (JCQ). Plasma high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and homocysteine (Hcy) were analyzed as inflammation markers. Job strain effects and its interaction with age were analyzed by logistic regression. Explained variance (Nagelkerke R square) was applied to select important stressors. The crude and adjusted odds ratio (OR) for the effect of high strain on high hs-CRP and Hcy were not significant. However, there was significant interaction between job strain and age (p = .014). The significantly increased risk of high strain on high hs-CRP was found among drivers younger than 35 years old (OR = 2.71), but not in driver groups age 35 to 49 and older than 50. The contributing factors to high strain were varied among the 3 age groups. The 3 stressors found for young drivers were having rest time less than 8 hours between 2 shifts, being physically inactive during leisure time, and frequent driving more than 12 hours a day. Job strain interacted with age influenced hs-CRP levels. The risk of inflammatory disease markers only increased in high strained group of young drivers. Appropriate work shift systems should be implemented to increase off-duty time, reduce sleep restrictions, and increase physical activity during leisure time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Boredom at work: Proximal and distal consequences of affective work-related boredom.
    Boredom is an emotion that occurs regularly at the workplace, with negative consequences for the employee and the organization. It is therefore important to understand why work-related boredom leads to such adverse consequences and what can be done to mitigate its occurrence and its negative consequences. In the present study we proposed a model suggesting that feelings of boredom at work induce immediate affect-based bored behaviors, and that such bored behavior leads to depressive complaints, distress, and counterproductive work behavior. We further posed that job crafting can mitigate work-related boredom and its negative outcomes. Results of a survey study among 189 employees showed that work-related boredom and bored behavior are empirically distinct, though related, constructs. Work-related boredom was positively related to depressive complaints, distress, and counterproductive work behavior, and these associations were fully mediated by bored behavior. Job crafting related negatively to work-related boredom, and attenuated the relationship of work-related boredom with bored behavior. Moreover, the indirect effects of work-related boredom through bored behavior on its outcomes were smaller the more employees engaged in job crafting. This research enhances insight into work-related boredom by showing that boredom as an affective state can be distinguished from its proximal behavioral consequences, and by providing a first onset to obtain insight in moderating and mediating mechanisms that may explain work-related boredom’s consequences. It highlights the importance of employees’ opportunities to work in jobs that do not cause work-related boredom to develop, and the role of job crafting as a potential intervention tool. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Embeddedness and well-being in the United States and Singapore: The mediating effects of work-to-family and family-to-work conflict.
    Guided by conservation of resources theory, we propose that both organizational and community embeddedness are associated with increased work-to-family conflict (WFC) and family to-work conflict (FWC), which in turn are associated with strain-related outcomes. Because stress can have both short-term and long-term consequences, we examined negative mood as an immediate reaction to stress and chronic insomnia as a longer-term reaction to stress. We examined these relationships in 2-career couples in both the United States (n = 416) and Singapore (n = 400). Results provided full support for the mediating effects of WFC and FWC in the U.S. sample, with only limited support for those mediating effects in the Singaporean sample. In addition, we found that the effects of community embeddedness on FWC were significantly stronger in the U.S. sample than in the Singaporean sample. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Work–family conflict among members of full-time dual-earner couples: An examination of family life stage, gender, and age.
    Based on cross-sectional data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce, this study investigates relationships between gender, age, and work–family conflict across 6 family life stages. Participants were 690 married/partnered employees who worked 35 or more hours a week. Results indicated a small but negative relationship between age and work–family conflict. Work–family conflict was also associated with family stage, with the least amount of conflict occurring during the empty nest stage and the most occurring when the youngest child in the home was 5 years of age or younger. Gender differences were also observed. Specifically, men reported more work interference with family than did women when the youngest child in the home was a teen. Women overall reported more family interference with work than did men. Results concerning age and gender revealed a different pattern demonstrating that family stage is not simply a proxy for age. Age had a main effect on work-to-family conflict that was monotonic in nature and on family to-work conflict that was linear in nature. In conclusion, the results indicate gender, age, and family stage each uniquely relate to work–family conflict. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Coaching for workers with chronic illness: Evaluating an intervention.
    Working with chronic illness may present challenges for individuals—for instance, managing symptoms at work, attaining accommodations, and career planning while considering health limitations. These challenges may be stressful and lead to strains. We tested a 12-week, 6-session, phone-based coaching intervention designed to help workers manage these challenges and reduce strains. Using theories of stress and resources, we proposed that coaching would help boost workers’ internal resources and would lead to improved work ability perceptions, exhaustion and disengagement burnout, job self-efficacy, core self-evaluations, resilience, mental resources, and job satisfaction, and that these beneficial effects would be stable 12 weeks after coaching ended. Fifty-nine full-time workers with chronic illnesses were randomly assigned to either a coaching group or a waitlisted control group. Participants completed online surveys at enrollment, at the start of coaching, after coaching ended, and 12 weeks postcoaching. Compared with the control group, the coaching group showed significantly improved work ability perceptions, exhaustion burnout, core self-evaluations, and resilience—yet no significant improvements were found for job self-efficacy, disengagement burnout, or job satisfaction. Indirect effects of coaching on work ability, exhaustion and disengagement burnout, and job satisfaction were observed through job self-efficacy, core self-evaluations, resilience, and mental resources. Results indicated that the positive effects of coaching were stable 12 weeks after coaching ended. Results suggest that this coaching intervention was helpful in improving the personal well-being of individuals navigating challenges associated with working and managing chronic illness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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