Managing work and family responsibilities in the U.S. is often difficult and impacts the health and well-being of employees, their families, and the workplace. Although the prevalence of work-life policies in U.S. workplaces has increased dramatically in recent years, there are few longitudinal studies using experimental designs to evaluate the effects of specific work-family interventions on work-family conflict and worker health outcomes. To address this critical gap in the knowledge base supporting work-family policies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) formed the Work, Family, and Health Network (WFHN). After 3 years of NIH- and CDC-funded pilot and formative research, the Work, Family and Health Network has embarked on a major ($31M) study of the effects of a specific behavioral workplace intervention evaluated in a multi-level framework at the workplace (30 sites), work group (~ 7 per worksite), employee (n=1500), and employee family levels. This parent project evaluates an innovative workplace intervention designed to reduce work-family conflict on the health, particularly cardiometabolic and sleep health, of direct patient-care employees in the long-term health care industry. This intervention is designed to decrease work-family conflict for employees, but has the potential of increasing the organizational support for the work-family needs of mid-level managers-those supervisors in the trenches who deal with the day to day work life and supervision of employees-leading to improved health of these managers. In this ancillary study proposal, we propose to study managers (n=163) at 28 worksites in parallel with the parent study data collection from 2010 through 2013. We propose to assess mid-level managers'cardiometabolic and sleep health using measures identical to the parent study assessments in employees. Specifically, we hypothesize that 1) an effective workplace intervention focused on manager practices and employee empowerment will ultimately reduce manager stress, which we operationalize as decreased cardiometabolic disease risk and increased manager sleep duration (at 6-, 12-, 18-month follow-ups post-intervention);and 2) that the effects of the workplace intervention on directly-measured managers health (cardiometabolic disease risk and sleep) will be associated with employees'directly-measured health (cardiometabolic disease risk and sleep) at the 6-, 12, 18-month follow-ups. To test these hypotheses we will also develop novel and broadly applicable statistical methodologies for variable selection to identify predictors of the outcomes in longitudinal studies in the presence of missing data, using a penalized likelihood approach. We extend the conceptual framework of the parent study by including manager-level objective health measures that enable the evaluation of the effects of the workplace intervention, versus continued usual practice, on manager health outcomes. This proposal represents a unique and time-sensitive opportunity to study the multi-level factors influencing health and chronic cardiometabolic disease risk in the workplace.

Public Health Relevance

Although the prevalence of family-friendly or work-life policies in U.S. workplaces has increased dramatically in recent years, few longitudinal experiments have evaluated the effects of work-family interventions on employee health outcomes. The Work, Family and Health Study is an ongoing, randomized, controlled trial of an innovative workplace intervention to improve employee health. This time-sensitive Ancillary Study proposal adds objective health outcomes in mid-level managers, a focus of the intervention, to evaluate the effects of this workplace intervention on managers'cardiometabolic and sleep health, and represents a unique opportunity to study the multi-level factors influencing health in the workplace. (End of Abstract)

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-G (O2))
Program Officer
Twery, Michael
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Pennsylvania State University
Schools of Allied Health Profes
University Park
United States
Zip Code
Ostler, Michael W; Porter, James H; Buxton, Orfeu M (2014) Dried blood spot collection of health biomarkers to maximize participation in population studies. J Vis Exp :e50973
Crain, Tori L; Hammer, Leslie B; Bodner, Todd et al. (2014) Work-family conflict, family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), and sleep outcomes. J Occup Health Psychol 19:155-67
Marino, Miguel; Li, Yi; Pencina, Michael J et al. (2014) Quantifying cardiometabolic risk using modifiable non-self-reported risk factors. Am J Prev Med 47:131-40
Jacobsen, Henrik B; Reme, Silje Endresen; Sembajwe, Grace et al. (2014) Work-family conflict, psychological distress, and sleep deficiency among patient care workers. Workplace Health Saf 62:282-91
Zhao, Sihai Dave; Li, Yi (2014) Score test variable screening. Biometrics 70:862-71
Jacobsen, Henrik B; Reme, Silje E; Sembajwe, Grace et al. (2014) Work stress, sleep deficiency, and predicted 10-year cardiometabolic risk in a female patient care worker population. Am J Ind Med 57:940-9
Marino, Miguel; Li, Yi; Rueschman, Michael N et al. (2013) Measuring sleep: accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of wrist actigraphy compared to polysomnography. Sleep 36:1747-55
Hammer, Leslie B; Ernst Kossek, Ellen; Bodner, Todd et al. (2013) Measurement development and validation of the Family Supportive Supervisor Behavior Short-Form (FSSB-SF). J Occup Health Psychol 18:285-96
Grandner, Michael A; Buxton, Orfeu M; Jackson, Nicholas et al. (2013) Extreme sleep durations and increased C-reactive protein: effects of sex and ethnoracial group. Sleep 36:769-779E
Kim, Seung-Sup; Okechukwu, Cassandra A; Buxton, Orfeu M et al. (2013) Association between work-family conflict and musculoskeletal pain among hospital patient care workers. Am J Ind Med 56:488-95

Showing the most recent 10 out of 12 publications