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Development of a behavioral measure of supervisor support for work & family.

Hammer-LB; Kossek-EE; Anger-K; Olson-R
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U01-OH-008788, 2009 Feb; :1-52
Objectives and Overview of the Project: The project addressed three major gaps in the Occupational Safety and Health research. First, this was an intervention study that developed, implemented, and evaluated a workplace behavioral intervention and its effects on worker, family, and organizational health. A quasi-experimental field study was conducted to assess the impact of a work-family supervisory training and self-monitoring intervention on work, health, and safety outcomes for employees. Significant work-family intervention effects emerged from employee reports of physical health and safety compliance, reports of family-supportive supervisory behaviors, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. These effects were most pronounced among those employees with higher levels of work-family conflict compared to those employees with lower levels of work-family conflict. Second, while there is a good deal of research examining general supervisor support and its impact on work-family stressors, little research addresses the specific family-supportive supervisory behaviors (FSSBs) that most impact workers' work-family conflict. Development of such a measure has the dual purpose of (1) assisting in the development of supervisory training as the behaviors necessary are explicated, and (2) assisting with theoretical models integrating work and family and occupational health. Previously, there was some ambiguity with regard to what supervisors actually needed to do in order to be supportive of their employees' work and family needs. This research clarifies this construct, which also increases the applicability of the findings to line managers. Third, this is one of the first studies to explicitly link conflicts between work and family and worker safety outcomes, in addition to worker health and family-related outcomes. This connection between the organization of work (i.e., supervisory behaviors that are supportive of work and family), work and family conflict, and safety outcomes, makes a significant contribution to the development of theoretical models that integrate the work and family interface and occupational health. Using a sample of grocery workers and their supervisors who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers' International Union, we first developed and validated a measure of FSSBs. The study then employed a randomized quasi-experimental design to test the effects of a family supportive supervisory training and self-monitoring intervention with the goal of improving health, safety, work, and well-being outcomes for employees. The intervention was focused on increasing supervisors' use of FSSBs. Supervisors completed a computer-based training program which included frequent quizzes to assess knowledge gain, as well as a behavioral self-monitoring task to assess translation of learning into the workplace. Employees and supervisors completed a survey assessing a variety of work, family, and individual outcomes (e.g., work-family conflict, job satisfaction, safety behaviors, health assessment) prior to and after the intervention.
Analytical-processes; Behavior; Behavior-patterns; Families; Occupational-health; Occupational-psychology; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-stress; Questionnaires; Supervisory-personnel; Training; Education; Work-environment; Workplace-studies; Work-practices
Leslie B. Hammer, Ph.D., Portland State University, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 751 (ORSP), Portland, OR 97207-0751
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Portland State University