Faragher, B. and Cass, M., UMIST, United Kingdom
As evidenced by a plethora of published studies in the area, the potential effect of current employment practices and conditions on employee health has been explored extensively. Although it is clear that organizations understand the importance of using research evidence to form appropriate policies and practices, this abundance of information can make it difficult to make accurate judgements. Increasingly, organizations are turning to systematic reviews and meta-analyses in the area of organizational health psychology, to provide the basis for developing more healthy workplaces. In response to a need for evidence based policy, we will present a meta -analysis of existing research into the relationships between mental and physical well being and several work conditions, including: number of working hours; job satisfaction; management styles and behaviours; job control; and job security. A meta-analysis on this scale has never previously been attempted, and results were obtained by accumulating statistics of over 500 appropriate studies from a pool of several thousand related papers. Relationships between work characteristics and a range of health outcomes will be presented. We will show that job satisfaction is correlated very significantly with adverse effects on general mental health, particularly depression, anxiety, burnout and self-esteem. Smaller, but important, correlations between mental health and both job control and job security will also be presented. However, the associations with physical health will be shown to be much lower. An analysis of moderator variables, including industry, occupation and level of seniority will be given.