Original Research

Work-family enrichment and psychological health

Ameeta Jaga, Jeffrey Bagraim, Zahira Williams
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 2 | a1143 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i2.1143 | © 2013 Ameeta Jaga, Jeffrey Bagraim, Zahira Williams | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2013 | Published: 26 September 2013

About the author(s)

Ameeta Jaga, Department of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Jeffrey Bagraim, Department of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Zahira Williams, Department of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: This study examines the beneficial aspects of the interface between work and family and its relationships with psychological health from a positive psychology perspective.

Research purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate whether work-family enrichment helps to predict psychological health, specifically increased subjective well-being and decreased feelings of emotional exhaustion and depression.

Motivation for the study: The burgeoning literature on the work-family interface contains little on the potentially positive benefits of maintaining work and family roles.

Research approach, design and method: The authors used a descriptive research design. Employees in two national organisations in the financial retail and logistics industries completed a self-administered survey questionnaire. The authors analysed responses from those who reported both family and work responsibilities (N = 160).

Main findings: Consistent with previous research, factor analysis revealed two distinct directions of work-family enrichment: from work to family (W2FE) and from family to work (F2WE). Multiple regression analysis showed that F2WE explained a significant proportion of the variance in subjective wellbeing, whilst W2FE explained a significant proportion of the variance in depression and emotional exhaustion.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings of this study revealed the individual and organisational benefits of fostering work-family enrichment.

Contributions/value add: This study presents empirical evidence for the need to focus on the positive aspects of the work-family interface, provides further support for a positive organisational psychology perspective in organisations and hopefully will encourage further research on interventions in organisations and families.


Keywords

Work-family interface; Emotional exhaustion; Depression; Wellbeing; Work-family enrichment; Positive organisational behaviour

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