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Scand J Work Environ Health. 1998;24 Suppl 3:141-5.

Effects of coping strategies, social support and work-nonwork conflict on shift worker's health.

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  • 1Graduate School of Management, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. A.Pisarski@gsm.uq.edu.au



This study examines the direct and mediated effects of shift workers' coping strategies and social support on structural work-nonwork conflict and subjective health.


The participants were 172 registered female nurses, aged 21 to 40 years. They all worked full-time, on rapidly rotating, 8-hour shifts in metropolitan general hospitals. All the respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire requesting demographic information and data on sources of social support, work-nonwork conflict, and coping strategies.


A path model with good fit (chi2=28.88, df=23, P>.23, CFI=0.97) demonstrated complex effects of social support and coping on structural work-nonwork conflict and health.


Structural work-nonwork conflict mediated the effects of social support from supervisors and emotionally expressive coping on psychological symptoms. Control of shifts mediated the effect of social support from supervisors on structural work-nonwork conflict. Disengagement coping had direct and mediated effects on psychological and physical health. However, it also had mediated effects, with the effect on psychological health being mediated by support from co-workers and the effect on physical symptoms being mediated by family support. Co-worker support mediated the effect of social support from supervisors on psychological symptoms. Overall, these findings support previous research and clarify the process by which coping strategies and social support affect structural work-nonwork conflict and health in shift work.

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