Occupational health psychology (OHP) involves the application of psychology to improving the quality of work life and to promoting and protecting the safety, health and well-being of employees. Achieving these aims requires researchers and practitioners to possess in-depth knowledge of the processes that are presumed to bring about the desired outcomes. To date, most studies in OHP have relied on cross-sectional designs in examining these processes. In such designs all variables of interest are measured simultaneously. Although this has generated useful insights in how particular phenomena are associated, such designs cannot be trusted when it comes to drawing causal inferences: association is not causation.
This book therefore focuses on longitudinal research designs in OHP, whereby the concepts of interest are measured several times, offering much stronger evidence for causal relationships. The authors focus on design issues in longitudinal research (such as the number of measurements chosen, and the length of the time lags between these measurements), and illustrate these issues in the context of applied research on topics such as the work-family interface, conflict at work, and employee well-being. By doing so this volume provides a state-of-the-art overview of current research in OHP, both in terms of its findings and methodologies.
This book is based on a special issue of the journal Work & Stress.