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Title:Relationship of an Employee Assistance Program to Stress, Absenteeism, Intention to Leave, and Job Performance
Author(s):Ramanathan Chathapuram S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cowger, Charles D.
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Psychology, Industrial
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:This research developed and used a stress-social support framework for understanding the role of EAP services in the lives of the employees and of the organization in a large health care facility. The study investigated relationships between EAP services and worker stress, worker stress and employee behavior, and EAP services and employee behavior. A one-group, pretest-posttest design was utilized and administered to fifty EAP users at the time of their first contact with EAP and two and four months later.
No statistically significant relationship was found between EAP services and change in stress level on any of the measures of stress. It was found that EAP interventions focused on the person and not on the environment. Counselors often categorized client problems in personal terms even when clients described problems that were work-related. Thus, even if interventions had been successful in reducing some stress, they would be unlikely to alleviate environmental sources of stress.
Reduced stress was associated with reduced absenteeism. Four months after the initial contact, this relationship was no longer statistically significant. At the time of the initial contact with the EAP, lower levels of client stress were associated with longer intention to stay in the organization. This was maintained through the last observation.
Absenteeism was reduced and clients referred by their supervisors showed improved job performance. Contrary to the expected findings, clients who received EAP services were less likely to want to stay in the organization.
One assumption of this study was that the EAP would have both a direct and buffering effect on levels of stress and employee behavior. The findings did not support this hypothesis. The findings may be explained by the following: the intervention may have been too brief to form a significant social support; the hypothesis may be invalid; client and counselor perceptions of the problem were inconsistent; or there was inadequate follow through on referrals. However, the findings suggest further exploration of this theoretical framework.
Issue Date:1988
Description:148 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8815410
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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