Effects of work–family life support program on the work–family interface and mental health among Japanese dual-earner couples with a preschool child: A randomized controlled trial

Akihito Shimazu, Takeo Fujiwara, Noboru Iwata, Yoko Kato, Norito Kawakami, Nobuaki Maegawa, Mutsuhiro Nakao, Tetsuo Nomiyama, Miho Takahashi, Jun Tayama, Izumi Watai, Makiko Arima, Tomoko Hasegawa, Ko Matsudaira, Yutaka Matsuyama, Yoshimi Miyazawa, Kyoko Shimada, Masaya Takahashi, Mayumi Watanabe, Astushige YamaguchiMadoka Adachi, Makiko Tomida, Di Chen, Satomi Doi, Sachiko Hirano, Sanae Isokawa, Tomoko Kamijo, Toshio Kobayashi, Kichinosuke Matsuzaki, Naoko Moridaira, Yukari Nitto, Sayaka Ogawa, Mariko Sakurai, Natsu Sasaki, Mutsuko Tobayama, Kanako Yamauchi, Erika Obikane, Miyuki Odawara, Mariko Sakka, Kazuki Takeuchi, Masahito Tokita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the effectiveness of a newly developed work–family life support program on the work–family interface and mental health indicators among Japanese dual-earner couples with a preschool child(/ren) using a randomized controlled trial with a waitlist. Methods: Participants who met the inclusion criteria were randomly allocated to the intervention or the control groups (n = 79 and n = 85, respectively). The program comprised two 3-h sessions with a 1-month interval between them and provided comprehensive skills by including self-management, couple management, and parenting management components. The program sessions were conducted on weekends in a community center room with 3–10 participants. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1-month, and 3-month follow-ups. Primary outcomes were work–family balance self-efficacy (WFBSE), four types of work–family spillovers (i.e., work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, work-to-family facilitation, and family-to-work facilitation), psychological distress, and work engagement reported by the participants. Results: The program had significantly pooled intervention effects on WFBSE (P =.031) and psychological distress (P =.014). The effect sizes (Cohen's d) were small, with values of 0.22 at the 1-month follow-up and 0.24 at the 3-month follow-up for WFBSE, and −0.36 at the 3-month follow-up for psychological distress. However, the program had nonsignificant pooled effects on four types of work–family spillovers and work engagement. Conclusions: The program effectively increased WFBSE and decreased psychological distress among Japanese dual-earner couples with a preschool child(/ren).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12397
JournalJournal of occupational health
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 1

Keywords

  • dual-earner couples
  • mental health
  • randomized controlled trial
  • self-efficacy
  • work engagement
  • work–family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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