Title page for ETD etd-01072006-002342

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author McLeese, Michelle Frances
Author's Email Address mmcleese@vt.edu
URN etd-01072006-002342
Title Increases in Drug and Alcohol Problems: A Combination of Job and Home Stressors?
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hughes, Michael D. Committee Co-Chair
Yuan, Anastasia Sue Vogt Committee Co-Chair
Fuhrman, Ellsworth R. Committee Member
Hawdon, James E. Committee Member
  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • work stress
  • home stress
Date of Defense 2005-12-16
Availability unrestricted

Using data from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) from the Fall of 1990 to the Spring of 1992 among respondents between the ages of 15 and 54 in 48 of the contiguous United States, this paper hypothesized an increase in serious drug problems and serious alcohol problems when a combination approach was used regarding home and work stressors. Results indicate support for the hypotheses that the combination of home and work stressors leads to an increase in both serious drug and alcohol problems (each measured separately). These findings are important especially since they suggest that stressors from home affecting work are significant and positively related to problems with both alcohol and drugs and stressors from work affecting home are not. In addition to demographic controls and stress scales of work and home, the model takes into account other possible explanations. These include past traumatic or recent life events that are considered high in stress, the family background of the parents of the respondents with regard to past psychiatric disorders, and the comorbidity of the respondents themselves. Results imply that stressors from home affecting work are significant and matter more than work stressors affecting home in every model. This research improves upon previous research by both exploring the inter-relationship between home and work stress and controlling for alternative explanations. Although more research needs to be carried out in the area of ‘home stressors,’ these results suggest previous conflicting findings within the work stress literature may be due in part to too narrow of a focus on stressors at the workplace or related to the job environment separate from home stressors.

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