Research indicates that work and family are significant sources of stress. However, this research has underemphasized the cognitive appraisal process by which work and family generate stress. This study used person-environment fit theory to examine how the comparison of work and family experiences to the person's values relates to stress and well-being. Using data from 1758 employees, we assessed fit regarding autonomy, relationships, security, and segmentation for both work and family, and examined the relationship of fit with work and family satisfaction, anxiety, depression, irritation, and somatic symptoms. In general, well-being improved as experiences increased toward values and improved to a lesser extent as experiences exceeded values. Well-being was also higher when experiences and values were both high than when both were low. These relationships were generally strongest for within-domain fit and well-being (i.e., work fit and work satisfaction, family fit and family satisfaction), and several relationships were moderated by work and family centrality.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 1999
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