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When hard times take a toll: the distressing consequences of economic hardship and life events within the family-work interface.
J Health Soc Behav 2012 Mar; 53(1):84-98
Using two waves of data from a national survey of working Americans (N = 1,122), we examine the associations among economic hardship, negative life events, and psychological distress in the context of the family-work interface. Our findings demonstrate that family-to-work conflict mediates the effects of economic hardship and negative events to significant others on distress (net of baseline distress and hardship). Moreover, economic hardship and negative events to significant others moderate the association between family-to-work conflict and distress. While negative events to others exacerbate the positive effect of family-to-work conflict on distress, we find the opposite for economic hardship: The positive association between hardship and distress is weaker at higher levels of family-to-work conflict. These patterns hold across an array of family, work, and sociodemographic conditions. We discuss how these findings refine and extend ideas of the stress process model, including complex predictions related to processes of stress-buffering, resource substitution, and role multiplication.
Humans; Men; Women; Age-groups; Workers; Psychological-stress; Psychology; Sociological-factors; Stress; Statistical-analysis; Behavior; Author Keywords: economic hardship; family-work conflict; life events; psychological distress; stress process model
Marisa Young, Department of Sociology, 725 Spadina Avenue, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 2J4 Canada
Issue of Publication
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
University of Toronto
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division