Iwin on Research

work-life effectiveness

The nature of work has changed, including the work and non-work responsibilities that employees juggle.  Research shows that workers with a better work-life fit have higher job satisfaction and are more productive.  Below, find our research focused specifically on work-life effectiveness.

recent projects include:
Cancer Survivorship & Employment
Creating Healthy Organizations

Work-Life Issues of Single Adults

Quality Jobs: Flexibility for Working Families
Job-Family Role Strain Among Low-Wage Workers

cancer survivorship and employment

With advances in cancer screening and treatment, cancer is easier to detect in earlier stages, more patients are surviving, and more survivors continue working through and after treatment. To better understand how employees and employers manage this stressful period in a worker’s life, iwin researchers are engaged in two studies. This first study is examining the work-life experiences of Kentucky breast cancer survivors employed in low-wage jobs during breast cancer diagnosis.

Through an exploratory, qualitative design, we will conduct in-depth interviews with women in Kentucky employed in a low-level, hourly position at the time they were diagnosed with breast cancer.  In doing so, we seek  to understand how these survivors manage the treatment and recovery process within the context of their work, family and other life responsibilities.  Results from this research could help medical professionals, human resource managers, supervisors and employers assist women during this transition period in their life. Our second study seeks to understand how employers assist employees when they are diagnosed with cancer, and how the process is managed throughout the employees’ treatment and recovery process. Results from this study will identify practices used by employers to assist cancer survivorship and opportunities for intervention research.

creating healthy organizations in kentucky

office Research suggests that supervisor support and leadership practices impact employee stress, health and well-being. iwin is pleased to announce the release of its Creating Healthy Organizations: Promising Practices in Kentucky report. This extensive case study report defines health and wellness from a holistic organizational perspective and highlights Kentucky organizations with exemplary practices and cultures of health and wellness.

iwin thanks the following 23 companies for their participation (in alphabetical order): Al J. Schneider Co.; Benefit Insurance Marketing; Central Bank; Central Baptist Hospital; City of Paducah; Community Trust Bank; Eastern Kentucky University; EQT Corporation; Farmers National Bank; Frankfort Regional Medical Center; GE Appliances & Lighting; Georgetown College; Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance; LG&E and KU; Logan Aluminum; Norton Healthcare; Papa John's International; R. J. Corman Railroad Group; SHPS, Inc.; University of Louisville; University of Kentucky; Wellpoint (Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield).

If you have questions about the project, please contact Jess Miller Clouser at jess.clouser@uky.edu.

understanding work-life issues of single adults


Principal investigator:
Wendy Casper, University of Texas
Co-Principal investigator:
Jennifer Swanberg, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin)

This study explores an understudied population by examining work-life issues of single adults without dependent children. We conducted interviews with 37 adults from this demographic group, and content analyzed the data to identify common themes discussed by these individuals. Results reveal several sources of stress associated with the work-nonwork interface among this group. Findings are discussed in terms of the health and wellness consequences of subtle forms of workplace discrimination, caregiving demands, and lack of supportiveness for nonwork responsibilities.

quality jobs in the new millennium: incorporating flexible work options as a strategy to assist working families

Principal Investigator:
Jennifer Swanberg, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator:
Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D., University of Kentucky

This study seeks to explore the model of job quality in relation to the employees' self perceived physical health status. The article concludes that when demographic and other job quality variables are controlled, flexible work options, coworker support, and employment insecurity are major predictors of the employees' self-reported health status.

This project was supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research through the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

job-family role strain among low-wage workers


Principal investigator:
Jennifer Swanberg, Ph.D

This exploratory study seeks to name the personal, family and job characteristics connected with low-wage workers' job-family strain. Support from the employee's supervisor was independently related to two of the three job-family strain variables.