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A Vacation From Work

Journal of Applied Psychology , Volume 71 (3): 392 – Aug 1, 1986


American Psychological Association
Copyright © 1986 by American Psychological Association
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A Vacation From Work


Pre- and postvacation measures were compared in six areas: job satisfaction, job involvement (measured as central life interest and as valued self), organizational commitment, turnover intention, and life satisfaction. Responses obtained from 128 employees in technical, administrative, clerical, and service positions one week prior to and one week following their vacations indicate that the vacation had a significant overall effect on the variables studied, even with sex, education, income, and occupational prestige included as covariates. Specifically, job involvement—central life interest decreased and both life satisfaction and turnover intention increased. The results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that vacation satisfaction and an interaction term involving the prevacation measure and vacation satisfaction increased the predictability of the postvacation measure by seven percent in two cases—life satisfaction and job satisfaction. Length of vacation did not contribute significantly to the prediction of any of the postvacation variables. The decrease in job involvement—central life interest was discussed in terms of the relative salience of work and nonwork domains and the allocation of psychological resources. Overall, the results were viewed as supporting an open-systems model of organizational behavior, but also as underscoring the need for further research on vacations and their effects on work and nonwork variables.
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