Academic journal article Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management

Work-Family Conflict and Health: A Study of Workplace, Psychological, and Behavioral Correlates

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management

Work-Family Conflict and Health: A Study of Workplace, Psychological, and Behavioral Correlates

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Quantitative methods are used to shed light on the relationships among work-family conflict, health, and other workplace, psychological, and behavioral constructs, i.e., organizational commitment, management/leadership relations, job knowledge and skills, job demands, workplace social relations, and readiness for change. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data regarding the perceptions of 464 employees in four organizations. Negative correlations were found between work-family conflict and all variables except job knowledge and skills. Significant relationships were also discovered between health and all study variables. Multiple regressions were used to explore the relationships between the demographic variables and work-family conflict and health.

Introduction

Improving the performance of employees has been a topic of great interest to practitioners as well as researchers. Work performance is the focus of much of the literature, e.g., Tracey, Hinkin, Tannenhaum, and Mathieu (2001). Throughout the past few decades however, performance research has also centered on a variety of nonwork issues including work-family conflict (Carlson & Perrewe, 1999) and mental and physical health (Ho, 1997; Voit, 2001). The term "work-family conflict" includes the tensions, challenges, and struggles individuals may perceive or feel related to their expectations, duties or requirements, and behaviors in, for, and between each role (work and family). For example, Thompson, Beauvais, and Lyness (1999) discovered that organizations that did not foster a more balanced work-family life for employees contributed to stress and tensions in employees' personal lives, which affected their ability to concentrate and be productive and creative on the job. Netemeyer, Boles, and McMurrian (1996) found that work-family conflict was negatively related to job performance. Other researchers (Burley, 1989; Eagle, Miles & Icenogle, 1997; Tompson & Werner, 1997) concluded that greater work-family conflict was linked to reduced concentration and attention on the job and was also linked to absenteeism, tardiness, turnover, low job commitment, low job involvement, overall performance, and reduced organizational citizenship, which, in turn, reduced overall work performance. The literature also supports important connections between mental and physical health and workplace performance. Voit (2001) found that workplace fitness and health programs improved employees' physical and mental health, and this improvement appeared to translate into positive effects on job performance and productivity. Ho (1997) reported that increased employee wellness (physical and mental) through participation in workplace health programs, led to improved job performance through reduced employee stress and absenteeism and increased job satisfaction.

Research continues to be conducted in both the work-family conflict and health arenas as complex workplace relationships (e.g., mediators, antecedents, determinants, outcomes, and correlates) have been explored. As these relationships are investigated, a deeper understanding of these phenomena can lead to the design and development of support systems and programs that result in individual and organizational performance improvements. But first, it is important to study the basic correlations among work-family conflict, health, and other potentially related constructs such as organizational commitment, management/leadership relations, job knowledge and skills, job demands, social relationships in the workplace, and readiness for change. As new or existing relationships are discovered and/or supported, future research can then determine the specific variable relationship directions, e.g., antecedent, mediator, or outcome. Hence, the purpose of this study is to shed light on the basic connections between work-family conflict, health, and other workplace, psychological, and behavioral constructs. …

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