Skip to main content

When Parents Feel Less Stress, More Autonomy at Work, Kids’ Health May Benefit

New research suggests children’s health is less likely to be negatively affected when parents feel a sense of control over their work lives. Investigators found that simple measures to advance work-place autonomy can help parents recharge, gain a sense of control, and improve parenting.

The finding adds to prior findings that show that sick children can influence a company’s bottom line if parents are distracted or have to take time off to care for their children.

Investigators believe workers can learn techniques such as mindfulness to help them transition from the workplace to the home environment. Moreover, business and industry leaders may be motivated to improve workplace autonomy if they understand that boosting a worker’s sense of control can directly improve profitability.

The paper appears in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

“If you can decide how you are going to do your job, rather than having that imposed on you, it is better for children,” said co-author Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller, professor of industrial organizational psychology at the University of Houston.

The good news, she said, is that there are things organizations can do to provide employees with that sense of control.

The researchers collected data from both parents and children in Lagos, Nigeria, targeting one group of low-income families and a second group of more affluent families. Teenage children from both groups were surveyed at their schools and asked to assess their own health.

Spitzmueller said the researchers expect their findings to be applicable in the United States, as the more affluent families had education levels, incomes and expectations of family life that are similar to those in Western nations.

While the low-income group included people living in dire poverty, she noted that their responses did not differ markedly from those of the wealthier group.

“Economic resources were not as much of a buffer as we would have thought,” she said.

Instead, feelings of autonomy in the workplace accounted for the difference between families where the parents’ work-family conflicts played out in health problems for the children and those whose children fared better.

The researchers looked at so-called “self-regulatory resources,” or the amount of self-control parents bring to parenting, including the ability to act in a more reflective manner.

“If a parent has too many stressors, it reduces your self-control,” Spitzmueller said.

Parental self-control was linked to better health outcomes for children. In other words, how we parent when we experience high levels of stress is probably fundamentally different from how we parent when we are coping well.

“At lower levels of job autonomy,” the researchers wrote, “employees likely have to rely more on self-regulatory resources to compensate for the impact of limited control over one’s job on one’s personal life.

“At higher levels of job autonomy, freedom and more decision-making opportunities are likely to motivate the person to engage, but self-regulatory resources would be less needed.”

The impact was most pronounced when job demands are high and job autonomy is low, and Spitzmueller said that allows for potential interventions and policies to address the issue.

Some are relatively simple, including teaching parents to take a few minutes to recharge before plunging from the workplace into parenthood. Practicing mindfulness, Spitzmueller said, can allow parents to “replenish their resources.”

Source: University of Houston



from Psych Central News http://bit.ly/2SgabVl
via IFTTT

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy. A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.” In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site. Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company. “Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote. The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology . In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D. Re

Today’s Popular Music is More Angry, Sad and Less Joyful

Today’s popular music is noticeably different from the popular songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Now a new study reveals that it’s not just the music itself that is different; today’s music consumers seem to prefer songs that express darker emotions in both lyric and tone. The findings, published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies , show that the expression of anger and sadness in popular music has increased gradually over time, while the expression of joy has declined. Using quantitative analytics, researchers from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan studied changes in popular music lyrics throughout the last seven decades, from the 1950s to 2016. Data scientists Kathleen Napier and Dr. Lior Shamir analyzed the lyrics of more than 6,000 songs found on the Billboard Hot 100, a list of the most popular songs of each year. In the past, songs were ranked primarily by record sales, radio broadcasting, and jukebox plays, but in more recent years, popularity is based on several

I Pretend that Fictional Characters Are Real & Talk to Myself as Them

I’ve always loved to play pretend. But now that I’m a teenager, instead of outgrowing it, it’s gotten worse. Now I’ve gotten to the point where it’s an obsession, and I spend more time with my imaginary friends then with real people. I pretend that my favorite characters from movies and TV shows are real, and I talk to myself, both as myself and the character. I have long discussions with myself. I also pretend that they are with me everywhere I go–to the supermarket, to my cousin’s house. I pretend that they’re with me, no matter what I do. Lately, I’ve also been doing something that’s hard to explain: I pretend to be two people (usually myself and my mother, or a cousin, or a made-up person) and have a pretend to have a conversation with them. I pretend that the fiction character is watching me and my mother/cousin/other. Usually, those scenarios involve either a verbal fight, or joking. I’m really concerned because I know this is abnormal and I’m not living a normal life. I’m worri