EXPLAINING INTENTIONS TO UTILIZE AN EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
 
Pajo, K., Couturier, M., Massey University, New Zealand and Deane, F., University of Wollongong, Australia
 
Researchers and practitioners are interested in employee willingness to utilize EAP services as this is often taken as an indicator of the successful implementation of such a program. The present study draws on Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior to explore the antecedents of intentions to use an EAP among 616 employees of a large health care organization in New Zealand. Nearly one-third of the respondents indicated they would use the EAP if they had a problem. Attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control collectively accounted for almost 60% of the variance in employee intentions to use the service. Attitudes were the strongest predictor of intentions followed by subjective norms and perceived behavioral control respectively. Beliefs about the confidentiality and helpfulness of the program contributed most strongly to participants' positive attitudes about the EAP, and friends and family were perceived as more influential than co-workers or supervisors. Results from the study provide support for the validity of the Theory of Planned Behavior and suggest that the theory may provide a useful framework to understand employee intentions to use an EAP.