Loughborough University

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Adaptation in work and family roles link support to mental health during a pandemic

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-06, 15:34 authored by Shaun Pichler, Wendy J Casper, Luke Fletcher, Nishat BabuNishat Babu

We address a key unresolved issue in the social support literature - how social support relates to psychological health - by examining behavioral adaptation as a mechanism through which support from work and family domains, during the COVID-19 pandemic, impacts psychological health. Given support may not equally benefit all, we consider individual differences in demographics as moderators in the relationships between support, adaptation and health outcomes. We examine both within-domain and cross-domain effects of support on adaptation using a sample of 392 employees who responded to two surveys, three weeks apart, shortly after the COVID-19 lockdown. Consistent with expectations, adaptation both within and across domains mediated the relationships between social support and psychological health. Moreover, the family support-family adaptation and family adaptation-psychological health relationships were stronger among participants without a cohabiting partner. Our findings highlight the important role social support and adaptation play in maintaining well-being during crisis events, particularly for persons without cohabiting partners. Our results suggest that workers can protect their psychological health during a crisis event to the extent they engage in behavioral adaptation and, thus, organizations should consider adopting interventions that promote behavioral adaptation, such as micro-interventions focused on stress reappraisal.



  • Loughborough Business School


  • Business

Published in

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© The British Psychological Society

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Pichler, S., Casper, W. J., Fletcher, L., & Babu, N. (2023). Adaptation in work and family roles link support to mental health during a pandemic. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 00, 1–29. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12452, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12452. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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  • en


Dr Nishat Babu. Deposit date: 5 June 2023