Work, Family, and Health Network (WFHN), 2009-2015

Project Overview

“Family-friendly” or “work-life” polices have become increasingly prevalent in the United States, but few longitudinal studies using experimental design have been implemented to test such policies. Moreover, knowledge about work-life policies aimed at low-wage workers is scant. To address this gap, OPRE supported a study by the Work, Family and Health Network (WFHN) of the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD).

WFHN implemented a workplace intervention designed to reduce work-family conflict by working with supervisors and employees to redesign work activities to better meet employee needs and achieve employer goals. Implemented with two large employers, the intervention includes training supervisors on ways to support work-family balance and to increase employees’ control over their work time. Within each employer, worksites were randomly assigned to participate in the intervention. The two employers represent different industries – one is more “white collar,” while the other employs low-wage workers with more irregular hours.

OPRE contributed funding for the collection of follow-up data on employees in the low-wage industry who leave their jobs over the course of the study. This funding contributes to a fuller understanding of the effects of the intervention on all workers and especially lower-income workers, including how family-friendly or work-life policies may or may not contribute to employment retention for low-wage workers.

A descriptive report presenting characteristics of participants who left their job over the course of the study compared to those who stayed was released in 2015. Early findings from the overall study are available at the Work Family and Health Network website.

The point of contact is Tiffany McCormack.

  • Work, Family, and Health Study: An Examination of Attriters

    Published: October 13, 2015

    This report presents findings about the sociodemographic and job-related characteristics of active participants in the Work, Family & Health Network (WFHN) study who left their job (i.e., attriters) during the course of the study. The WFHN evaluates a workplace intervention designed to increase employees’ control over their work time and work schedule, supervisors’ support for this change, and employees and supervisors’ focus on results....

More Reports on this Project