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Title:Spiraling effects of firefighters’ emotional demands and off-duty unhealthy behaviors: psychosocial resources and healthy behaviors as moderators
Author(s):Headrick, Lucille
Director of Research:Park, YoungAh
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Park, YoungAh
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kramer, Amit; Newman, Daniel; Restubog, Simon
Department / Program:School of Labor & Empl. Rel.
Discipline:Human Res & Industrial Rels
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):emotional demands
unhealthy eating
substance use
Abstract:Unhealthy eating and substance use have been linked to numerous adverse long-term and short-term health and well-being outcomes; however, work-related predictors of these behaviors have been largely ignored. One possible explanation why individuals eat unhealthy foods and use substances is to cope with emotional job demands and their associated negative affect at the end of their shift. This may be especially relevant for firefighters as this occupation has been associated with high levels of stress, alcoholism, and obesity. In response, I develop a between-person structured diary study across firefighters’ work-and-rest cycle (5-time points across 4 days) to test two models that examine the interplay between emotional demands and unhealthy behavior (i.e., unhealthy eating and substance use). In Model 1 (N = 228), path analysis results show that emotional demands during the shift are positively related to negative affect at the end of the shift which, in turn, relates to increases in unhealthy eating and alcohol use during their off-duty time. Also, partner support for healthy eating (reported by the target firefighter’s significant other) moderates the relationship between negative affect and unhealthy eating, thereby weakening the indirect effect of emotional demands on unhealthy eating. Additional exploratory analyses found that the perception of a healthy diet norm among coworkers also buffered this relationship. In Model 2 (N = 231), path analysis results show that unhealthy eating and alcohol use during off-duty time are positively related to fatigue before the shift which, in turn, positively relates to the perception of emotional demands at work during the shift. Additionally, the number of sleep interruptions during the shift moderates the relationship between fatigue before the shift and emotional demands during the shift, thereby exacerbating the indirect effect of unhealthy eating and alcohol use during off-duty time on the perception of emotional demands during the shift. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Issue Date:2021-04-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Lucille Headrick
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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