Monthly Archives: October 2022

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Fall is here!

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Amani Qaqish: Article Presentation

Amani Qaqish, a first-semester undergraduate lab member, recently gave an article presentation on the article titled “Effort-Reward Imbalance and Employee Performance With the Moderating Roles of Overcommitment and Humor” (Reizer & Siegrist, 2022).

Effort Reward Imbalance (ERI) is described as when the amount of effort one puts into the workplace should be equally reciprocated with reward but is not. The negative implications of ERI include stress-related mental health disorders and physical disorders. Additionally, to cope with ERI, many engage in overcommitment or the two types of different humor: affiliative humor and self-enhancing humor. Affiliative humor is a joke made during a conversation to bring everyone together which can strengthen interpersonal relationships. Self-enhancing humor is a joke about oneself staying positive during a negative time which can regulate emotions. Amani explains the Broaden-and-Build theory which is the idea of broadened attention focus is positive emotions (considering new possibilities and fostering psychological flexibility). Lastly, to explain the background, the dimensions of employee performance were explained as four parts: task performance, organizational citizenship, creative performance, and destructive deviance (DD).

The presented study had three different hypotheses starting with (1) Employee ERI is related to job performance measures with 4 sub-hypotheses: (a) negatively associated with task performance, (b) negatively associated with OCB, (c) negatively associated with creative performance, (d) positively associated with DD. Hypothesis (2) states that overcommitment moderates the relationships between ERI and task performance (H2A), OCB (H2B), creative performance (H2C), and DD (H2D). Lastly, hypothesis (3) states adaptive humor moderated the associations between ERI and workplace outcomes. Both self-enhancing and affiliative humor diminishes the negative associations between ERI and task performance (H3A), OCB (H3B, creative performance (H3C, and DD (H3D).

Three hundred and ninety-nine adults who worked a minimum of 10 hours per week, worked for their respective employer for at least 6 months, salary employees, had access to the internet and email, and had direct supervisors involved were included in the study. Participants ranged from different genders, ages, education levels, employment, and supervisor-employee relationships. Effort Reward and ERI were measured along with humor scales, task performance, creative performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and destructive workplace deviance through a self-report questionnaire.

Multiple regression was conducted for statistical analysis. Results for H1a, H1b, & H1c show the ER ratio negatively associated with task performance, OCB, and creative performance, ER and DD were unrelated, but the reward measure was negatively associated with DD. ER ratio and overcommitment (OC) are positively correlated, and OC is positively correlated with creative performance. Hypothesis 2 results showed that overcommitment moderated associations between ER ratio and task performance with negative associations between ER ratio and task performance for employees who scored high in over-commitment. Hypothesis 3 results show that humor moderates the association between ER ratio and workplace outcomes. Specifically for H3A, there was a negative association between ER ratio and task performance which reached significance for employees who scored low in self-enhancing humor. For H3B, H3C, and H3D, associations were found between ER ratio and OCB, creative performance, and DD which reached significance for employees who scored low in self-enhancing humor.

This study demonstrated the effects of overcommitment as a moderating effect limited to task performance. It was found that self-enhancement humor reduced the strength of associations for ERI and employee task performance, OCB, and DD. It was found to be a robust predictor of resilience and a stable moderator for job stress-burnout relationships, and affiliative humor was less effective. These findings have important implications for improving balance in the workplace, implementing more group-based programs, interventions to decrease overcommitment and increase humor, and more leader involvement. Limitations of the study include a lack of longitudinal design, not exploring the full range of information inherent in the ERI model, and no empirical insights into the mediating process. There are also opportunities for future research by considering burnout and occupational health problems or looking at other mediators such as a trust or organizational commitment.

Amazing job presenting this article, Amani! She will be using this research to assist her in her literature review throughout the semester!

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Natalie Safo: Article Presentation

First-semester undergraduate lab member, Natalie Safo, recently gave an astute presentation on an article titled “The Importance of Employment to Workers with Pre-existing Behavioral Health Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (Cook et al., 2022).

During the pandemic, a relationship between job loss and poor mental health was discovered. Previous studies demonstrated that those with pre-existing mental health issues are expected to experience a greater chance of instability, unemployment, reduced hours, and economic uncertainty. Those who were unemployed exhibited higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders, stress-related disorders, and suicidal ideation than those who are employed. However, those who were employed as peer support specialists experienced feelings of isolation and communication issues.

The presented study had three objectives with the first aim to find out whether those who were working would differ from those who were not in self-assessed exposure to COVID-19 infection, changes in sleep and dietary patterns, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. The second aim was to find out whether those whose jobs changed would experience the forgoing factors differently than those whose jobs were not altered. Lastly, the researchers strived to investigate respondents’ own accounts of what it was like to be employed during the pandemic.

A mixed-methods cross-sectional survey was conducted among community adults with behavioral health disorders from April 15, 2020, to May 13, 2020. There were 272 participants with a mean age of 49.9 years old and standard deviation of 13.5 years that were surveyed via SurveyMonkey. Inclusion criteria included (1)affiliation with CSPNJ or NYAPRS, (2) self-report of behavioral health disorder, mental health disorder, or substance use disorder, (3) 21 years old or older, and (4) ability to understand English. Measures used were the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-2 Questionaire and Patient Health Questionaire-2 along with surveying the pandemic’s impact on employment, sleep and diet, and the degree of COVID-19 exposure in daily activities of the participant.

Results showed that employed and changed job participants encountered COVID-related disruptions in sleep patterns and dietary routines. The possibility of work buffers the effects of instability and uncertainty due to the gratitude for employment and relief. Those who changed jobs experienced higher levels of anxiety and psychological distress. The survey exhibited few participants who lost their jobs. A low proportion of workers screened positive for anxiety and depressive disorder, which could be linked to access to mental health resources when looking at those who were unemployed verse employed. Over half of those experiencing job changes screened positive for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and 2/5 for MDD. Researchers indicated that the job instability group versus the job loss group may be the predominant challenge for this group. Job seeking process is more challenging with the need for evidence-based support for employment services during the pandemic. Limitations of the study include self-report measures, lack of longitudinal design, and sample group.

The study has demonstrated evidence of the importance of work in the lives of employees with pre-existing behavioral health conditions. Programs for support and resources could improve the work experience. Support from peers and other professionals could assist in pandemic recovery to improve health and wellness. Another implication would be the initiation of services to address unemployment in the COVID economy.

Natalie did a wonderful job presenting the discussed study. She will be using this research and other related studies to assist her during the composition of her literature review project. Keep up the great work!

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