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Depression and Work Family Conflict Among Corrections Officers

Obidoa, Chiwekwu PhD, MS; Reeves, David MA; Warren, Nicholas ScD; Reisine, Susan PhD; Cherniack, Martin MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: November 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 11 - p 1294–1301
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182307888
Original Articles

Objective: This article assessed work-to-family conflict (W-FC) and family-to-work conflict (F-WC) and their impact on depression among corrections officers in two correctional facilities in the United States.

Methods: The sample consisted of 220 officers who completed questionnaires that included data on demographics, sense of coherence (SOC), physical health, psychosocial job characteristics, and work–family conflict. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D-10) assessed depression.

Results: The mean CES-D score was 7.8 (SD = 5.2); 31% had scores of 10 or more, indicative of serious psychological distress. The SOC, W-FC, and F-WC were significantly and positively associated with depression; W-FC mediated the effects of SOC on depression. Psychosocial job characteristics were not related to depression.

Conclusions: Depressive symptoms were high among officers, and W-FC was a critical factor contributing to psychological distress.

From the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Drs Obidoa, Warren, and Cherniack), Division of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health (Dr Reisine), and Department of Psychology (Mr Reeves), University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington.

Address correspondence to: S. Reisine, Division of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, School of Dental Medicine, University of Connecticut, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030. E-mail: reisine@nso1.uchc.edu.

This publication was supported by Grant Number 1 U19 OH008857 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine