State and trait neural correlates of the balance between work and nonwork roles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Difficulty managing the demands of work and nonwork roles (often referred to in terms of managing balance) can be detrimental to psychological wellbeing and contribute to occupational burnout. The current study investigated the neural correlates of perceived satisfaction with this balance using both trait and state EEG alpha measures. EEG was recorded from 14 participants in full time employment (12 females, aged 35.1 ± 10.1 years) during a resting state and performance of an auditory oddball task; e-mail and messaging alert sounds were used as target stimuli. It was predicted that dissatisfaction with the balance between work and nonwork roles would be associated with increased resting alpha power, consistent with studies of burnout, and diminished alpha response to oddball distractors, consistent with difficulty suppressing automatic responses to work-related stimuli. Significant correlations between self-reported measures of work/nonwork balance and both resting, and task-related alpha responses, supported our predictions. Furthermore, an exploratory partial correlation between work and nonwork balance and resting EEG, controlling for task-related alpha response, suggested that the three variables were interrelated. We propose that dissatisfaction with work/nonwork balance is associated with a state hypervigilance to work-related cues, and a trait neural marker of fatigue, both symptomatic of lowered cognitive capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume287
Issue number1
Early online date20 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019

Keywords

  • Work/nonwork balance
  • E-mail
  • Alpha EEG
  • Attentional bias
  • Suppression

Cite this

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title = "State and trait neural correlates of the balance between work and nonwork roles",
abstract = "Difficulty managing the demands of work and nonwork roles (often referred to in terms of managing balance) can be detrimental to psychological wellbeing and contribute to occupational burnout. The current study investigated the neural correlates of perceived satisfaction with this balance using both trait and state EEG alpha measures. EEG was recorded from 14 participants in full time employment (12 females, aged 35.1 ± 10.1 years) during a resting state and performance of an auditory oddball task; e-mail and messaging alert sounds were used as target stimuli. It was predicted that dissatisfaction with the balance between work and nonwork roles would be associated with increased resting alpha power, consistent with studies of burnout, and diminished alpha response to oddball distractors, consistent with difficulty suppressing automatic responses to work-related stimuli. Significant correlations between self-reported measures of work/nonwork balance and both resting, and task-related alpha responses, supported our predictions. Furthermore, an exploratory partial correlation between work and nonwork balance and resting EEG, controlling for task-related alpha response, suggested that the three variables were interrelated. We propose that dissatisfaction with work/nonwork balance is associated with a state hypervigilance to work-related cues, and a trait neural marker of fatigue, both symptomatic of lowered cognitive capacity.",
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State and trait neural correlates of the balance between work and nonwork roles. / Jones, Rhiannon; Cleveland, Michelle; Uther, Maria.

In: Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging, Vol. 287, No. 1, 30.05.2019, p. 19-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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