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Work and family conflicts in employees with spinal cord injury and their caregiving partners

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Fekete Christine, Siegrist Johannes, Tough Hannah, Brinkhof Martin,
Project The social production of wellbeing in disability: a longitudinal study of persons with spinal cord injury and their caregivers
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Spinal Cord
Volume (Issue) 56
Page(s) 63 - 70
Title of proceedings Spinal Cord
DOI 10.1038/sc.2017.100

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional, observational. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association of conflicts between work and family life with indicators of health and to examine the antecedents of those conflicts in employees with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their caregiving partners. SETTING: Community, Switzerland. METHODS: Data from employed persons with SCI (n=79) and caregiving partners (n=93) who participated in the pro-WELL study were used. Logistic and tobit regressions were performed to assess the association of work-family and family-work conflicts with health indicators, namely mental health (36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)), vitality (SF-36), well-being (WHOQoL BREF) and positive and negative affect (Positive and Negative Affect Scale short form (PANAS-S)). Own and partners' engagement in productive activities and socioeconomic circumstances were evaluated as potential antecedents of work-family and family-work conflicts using logistic regression. RESULTS: Work-family conflicts were related to reduced mental health (caregiving partners only), vitality and well-being. Family-work conflicts were linked to reduced mental health, vitality, well-being and positive affect in SCI and to reduced vitality in caregiving partners. Persons with lower income (SCI only) and lower subjective social position reported more conflicts than persons with higher income and higher subjective position. Higher workload increased work-family conflicts in caregiving partners and decreased family-work conflicts in SCI. Education, amount of caregiving, care-receiving and partners' employment status were not associated with the occurrence of conflicts. CONCLUSION: The optimal balance between work and family life is important to promote mental health, vitality and well-being in employees with SCI and their caregiving partners. This is especially true in employees perceiving their social position as low and in caregivers with a high workload.