Effects of work-family conflict and job insecurity on psychological distress

M. Mutambudzi, Z. Javed, S. Kaul, J. Prochaska, M. K. Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Work-family conflict (WFC) and job insecurity are important determinants of workers' mental health. Aims To examine the relationship between WFC and psychological distress, and the co-occurring effects of WFC and job insecurity on distress in US working adults. Methods This study used cross-sectional data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for adults aged 18-64 years. The 2010 NHIS included occupational data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sponsored Occupational Health Supplement. Logistic regression models were used to examine the independent and co-occurring effects of WFC and job insecurity on distress. Results The study group consisted of 12 059 participants. In the model fully adjusted for relevant occupational, behavioural, sociodemographic and health covariates, WFC and job insecurity were independently significantly associated with increased odds of psychological distress. Relative to participants reporting WFC only, participants reporting no WFC and no job insecurity had lower odds of moderate and severe distress. Co-occurring WFC and job insecurity was associated with significantly higher odds of both moderate [odds ratio (OR) = 1.55; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.9] and severe (OR = 3.57; 95% CI 2.66-4.79) distress. Conclusions Rates of WFC and job insecurity were influenced by differing factors in working adults; however, both significantly increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes, particularly when experienced jointly. Future studies should explore the temporal association between co-occurring WFC and job insecurity and psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-640
Number of pages4
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Job insecurity
  • Mental health
  • Psychological distress
  • Work-family conflict
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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