Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A mediational model of workplace flexibility, work–family conflict, and perceived stress among caregivers of older adults

an article by Melissa Brown and Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes (Boston College School of Social Work, MA, USA) published in Community, Work & Family Volume 19 Issue 4 (2016)


As an increasing number of employees become caregivers, the role of workplace resources in supporting caregivers has attracted the attention of researchers, employers, and policy-makers.

Workplace flexibility is one type of resource that has attracted particular interest, with research exploring whether flexibility (that is, giving employees some control over when and/or where work gets done) is related to important outcomes for both employees and employers.

This investigation develops and tests a mediational model explicating the process through which workplace flexibility – operationalized in three distinct ways – impacts caregiver stress among US employees.

Using a sample of 211 caregivers from the National Study of the Changing Workforce (2008), results show that work-to-family conflict mediates the relationship between perceived workplace flexibility and caregiver stress as well as the relationship between access to flexible work options and caregivers stress.

However, the mediational model is not supported when flexibility is operationalized as respondents’ formal use of flexible work options. Implications for employers and future research are discussed.

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