Disentangling the causal relationships between work-home interference and employee health
SourceScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 31, 1, (2005), pp. 15-29
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
OBJECTIVES: The present study was designed to investigate the causal relationships between (time- and strain-based) work-home interference and employee health. The effort-recovery theory provided the theoretical basis for this study. METHODS: Two-phase longitudinal data (with a 1-year time lag) were gathered from 730 Dutch police officers to test the following hypotheses with structural equation modeling: (i) work-home interference predicts health deterioration, (ii) health complaints precede increased levels of such interference, and (iii) both processes operate. The relationship between stable and changed levels of work-home interference across time and their relationships with the course of health were tested with a group-by-time analysis of variance. Four subgroups were created that differed in starting point and the development of work-home interference across time. RESULTS: The normal causal model, in which strain-based (but not time-based) work-home interference was longitudinally related to increased health complaints 1 year later, fit the data well and significantly better than the reversed causal model. Although the reciprocal model also provided a good fit, it was less parsimonious than the normal causal model. In addition, both an increment in (strain-based) work-home interference across time and a long-lasting experience of high (strain-based) work-home interference were associated with a deterioration in health. CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that (strain-based) work-home interference acts as a precursor of health impairment and that different patterns of (strain-based) work-home interference across time are related to different health courses. Particularly long-term experience of (strain-based) work-home interference seems responsible for an accumulation of health complaints.
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