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Home and Community Life of a Sample of Shift Workers.

Gordon-GC; McGill-WL; Maltese-JW
NIOSH 1981 Jul:435-450
Relationships among job shift hours, sleep, and off the job life variables were examined. The primary intent was to provide workers with an opportunity to describe freely their feelings and experiences. Of 71 volunteer respondents, there were 40 male and 31 female workers. Most taped interviews were conducted at homes. From collection of positive evaluations, complaints, coping strategies, and supports, two judges rated workers as satisfied, tolerant, and dissatisfied. Results were presented under four headings: demography, job, and shift tenure; levels of satisfaction; interview impressions; and frequency of activity. The sample population consisted largely of mature, experienced, white and black employees. All 11 day shift workers (DWs) were judged to be satisfied with their shift, while 55 percent of night shift workers (NWs) and 18 percent of rotating shift workers (RWs) were rated as satisfied. Ninety one percent of DWs preferred the day shift, 43 percent of NWs preferred night shift, and no RWs would choose rotating shifts. Sixty four percent of RWs, 55 percent of DWs, and 45 percent of NWs were satisfied with their jobs. The pattern of satisfaction for sleep, social, and leisure life paralleled the trend noted for shift satisfaction. About half of NWs viewed themselves as night people and spoke positively. Most RWs described many physiological and psychosocial problems. In most families, there was considerable support for male RWs by their wives. Fewer NWs than DWs and RWs reported regular involvement in their favorite activities. A lower number of NWs than DWs and RWs were active as individual partners or parents. Regular activity was more prevalent and differed less between shifts for flexible than for scheduled activities. NWs showed a lower level of participation in all types of scheduled occasions. A lower number of NWs and RWs than DWs attended church and participated in union activities.
Shift-work; Men; Women; Job-stress; Job-rotation; Sociological-factors; Psychological-adaptation; Psychological-stress; Worker-health;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 81-127
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Special Populations; Work Environment and Workforce;
Source Name
The Twenty-Four Hour Workday: Proceedings of a Symposium on Variations in Work-Sleep Schedules, Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127