Date of Completion

7-30-2019

Embargo Period

7-29-2021

Keywords

Correctional Supervisors

Major Advisor

Dr. Richard H. Fortinsky

Associate Advisor

Dr. Alicia Dugan

Associate Advisor

Dr. Martin G. Cherniack

Field of Study

Public Health

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

The corrections workplace presents many risk factors for its employees’ family life and mental health. However, studies on correctional employee health are limited. This dissertation focused on correctional supervisors (i.e., lieutenants, captains, and counselor supervisors) and examined various work and non-work factors impacting their family life and mental well-being. Three separate cross-sectional studies were conducted. First, Study 1 examined the association between work demands (i.e., overtime work and shift work) and family caregiving responsibilities (i.e., child care and adult care) with depressive symptoms and with the mediating roles of work-to-family conflict (W-FC) and family-to-work conflict (F-WC). Study 2 examined the association of correctional supervisors’ style of interpersonal interactions (i.e., dominating/ “masculinity,” caring/ “femininity”) with emotional suppression and home stress and with the mediating role emotional suppression. Study 2 also examined the moderating role of a perceived masculine organizational culture and behavior-based work-to-family conflict. Lastly, Study 3 examined the association of correctional supervisors’ perceived effect of work-related trauma with W-FC and depressive symptoms and with the mediating role of W-FC. The moderating roles of coworker and supervisor social support were also examined. Key findings from Study 1 were: the amount of overtime hours worked was positively associated with W-FC and W-FC was positively associated with depressive symptoms. Overtime hours had an indirect effect on depressive symptoms mediated through correctional supervisors’ experience of W-FC. In Study 2, key findings included: having a caring interpersonal style in this male majority workforce reduced perceived levels of stress at home and led to lower levels of reported emotional suppression for correctional supervisors who perceive their organizational culture as highly masculine. Lastly, results from Study 3 indicated that the perceived effect of work-related trauma was positively associated with depressive symptoms. W-FC fully mediated the relationship between the perceived effect of work-related trauma and depressive symptoms. Additionally, social support from coworkers and supervisors moderated the association between the perceived effect of work-related trauma and depressive symptoms. The results from these studies have important implications for correctional agencies in terms of developing interventions that can help protect and promote correctional supervisors’ family life and mental health.

Available for download on Thursday, July 29, 2021

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