The objective of this proposal is to identify the factors that relate to mental, physical, and interpersonal health of individuals whose jobs require frequent travel.
The specific aims are to: 1. Identify factors that contribute to the adversity of the travel experience for workers and their families. 2. Determine how coping by the traveling workers and their intimate partners is related to personal well-being and family relationships. 3. Uncover the tempos of daily stress and coping strategies of frequently traveling workers and their intimate partners, associated with travel schedules of the workers. 4. Determine how parental work travel is related to child well-being. To accomplish the overall objective of this project requires linking traveling workers' daily experiences with those of their intimate partners and children, and accounting for variation in daily experiences across phases of work travel (preparing for trips, being on a trip, returning home, and being home). The multi-method approach includes: (a) in-person interviews in which 150 study participants whose jobs require frequent travel and 150 intimate partners of the travelers will respond to written questionnaires and interview questions pertaining to work and personal life, including detailed dimensions of their traveling schedule as well as measures tapping psychological well-being, social relationships, job satisfaction, and child well-being; and (b) daily diary reports in which participants use Personal Digital Assistants to report on their behaviors, feelings, and stress levels across the distinct phases of travel (i.e. preparing for a trip; being on a trip, returning home, being home). Half of the families in this study will have children between the ages of 8-18, and these children will participate in interviews, questionnaires, and daily diairies as well. The research proposed in this application targets an increasing and poorly understood segment of the labor force. Identifying the coping strategies used by traveling workers and their families that are associated with higher well-being can be expected to contribute to knowledge that will address the high rate of turnover in these jobs, as well as the high incidences of stress disorders they and their families' experience. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Application #
Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
King, Rosalind B
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Texas Tech University
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Wheeler, Lorey A; Zvonkovic, Anisa M; Swenson, Andrea R et al. (2018) Implications of parents' work travel on youth adjustment. Community Work Fam 21:326-343
Zvonkovic, Anisa; Swenson, Andrea; Cornwell, Zoƫ (2017) Children's Experiences of Time when a Parent Travels for Work. J Marriage Fam 79:983-1000