Job characteristics, wellness and work-home interaction in the mining industry
Oldfield, Gary Robert
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The mining industry is driven by performance and intense working environments, accompanied by high demands, hazardous working conditions and socially undesirable working hours. These factors could impact on the interaction between work and home, as well as contributing to health problems of employees. The objectives of this research were to test the construct validity, construct equivalence and reliability of a work-home interaction measuring instrument, the Survey Work-Home Interaction - Nijmegen (SWING), to determine if work-home interaction differences exist between different demographical groups, and to test a structural model of job characteristics (job demands and job resources), ill health and negative work-home interference. Random samples (n = 320) were taken from employees working in the mining industry (gold, platinum and phosphate mines) in the Gauteng, North West and Northern provinces. The SWING, a self-developed job characteristics questionnaire and an adapted version of the General Health Questionnaire were administered. Structural equation modelling, descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficients, Pearson product-moment correlations, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyse the data. Structural equation modelling confirmed the four-factor structure of the SWING and the construct equivalence for two language and ethnic groups. The four factors showed acceptable internal consistencies. Statistically significant differences were found based on age, ethnicity, gender, qualification, marital and parental status, language, flexibility at work and whether individuals had a partner with a paid job. Regarding the structural model, the results showed that job demands and job resources have an impact on ill health, and that ill health is associated with negative WHI. It was also found that job demands and job resources have a direct relationship with negative WHI on their own, but when both high demands and a lack of resources are present, only an indirect relationship with negative WHI exists though ill health.