Changing Work, Not Workers: A Work, Family and Health Conceptual Model

Rosalind B. King, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH
Georgia Karuntzos, RTI International
Lynne M. Casper, University of Southern California
Kelly Davis, Pennsylvania State University
Mary Durham, Kaiser Permanente

Demographic, social, technological, and economic changes occurring in the US since the 1950s have radically altered family life, work, and the labor market, making it harder for families to juggle work and family responsibilities. However, workplace structures and human resource policies and practices addressing work-family issues have changed relatively little. We have developed an interdisciplinary framework and new logic model of how work-family strains impact the health and well being of employees, their families, and the organizations in which they work. We argue that both structure and culture count at the workplace: work-family conflict increases with both a lack of supervisor support for family obligations and ineffective workplace policies and programs regarding employees’ control over the time and timing of work. Research using this model will challenge the existing organization of work, which was designed for a workforce without the family care responsibilities prevalent in today’s workforce.

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Presented in Session 163: Work, Family and Health Study: A Group-Randomized Trial in Workplaces