Job characteristics, coping and work-home interaction in a nursing environment
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Nurses make up the largest group of health workers in South Africa and are likely to play an important role in the transformation of the health sector. Health caregivers, especially those dealing with people suffering h m serious illnesses and those exposed to multiple deaths, are at risk of developing work-related psychological disorders. Furthermore, long working hours, pressure, role clarity and lack of support from colleagues are the four most common work stressors reported. People are constantly faced with the challenge of simultaneously managing multiple roles in their work as well as their home-sphere. It therefore becomes increasingly important to maintain a balance in these two life spheres. Unfortunately, a gap exists between the positive and negative side of work-home interaction as most research focuses on the negative side. It also seems that, despite the importance of work-home interaction of nurses, relatively few studies investigate the role of specific job characteristics and coping strategies that could play a role in negative and positive work-home interaction. The objective of this study was to determine which job characteristics and coping strategies predict negative and positive work-home interaction in the nursing environment. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Stratified random samples (n = 300) were taken of registered nurses in the Johannesburg, Klerksdorp, Krugersdorp, Potchefstroom and Pretoria regions. A self-constructed questionnaire was used to measure job characteristics. The Coping Strategy Indicator (CSI) was used to measure coping strategies, and the 'Survey Work-home Interaction- NijmeGen' (SWING) was used to measure work-home interaction. Exploratory factor analyses and Cronbach alpha coefficients were used to determine the validity and reliability of the questionnaires. Product-moment correlation coefficients were used to determine the relationship between job characteristics, coping and work-home interaction. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine the percentage variance in the dependent variables (e.g. negative and positive WHI) that is predicted by the independent variables (e.g. job characteristics and coping strategies). The results showed that time demands, pressure, role clarity and colleague support are the main job characteristics that predict negative work-home interference. Problem-solving coping was associated with less negative work-home interference, while avoidance coping seems to predict higher levels of negative work-home interference. Time demands, autonomy and role clarity were the main predictors of positive work-home interference. Problem-solving coping was the only coping strategy associated with positive work-home interference. Recommendations were made for further research.