Investigating the Relationships between Adult Attachment Patterns and Perceived Levels of Presenteeism and Absenteeism

Dragana Jovinov (2012). Investigating the Relationships between Adult Attachment Patterns and Perceived Levels of Presenteeism and Absenteeism PhD Thesis, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
s4077767_phd_finalabstract.pdf s4077767_phd_finalabstract.pdf application/pdf 16.32KB 2
s4077767_phd_finalthesis.pdf s4077767_phd_finalthesis.pdf application/pdf 1.88MB 16
Author Dragana Jovinov
Thesis Title Investigating the Relationships between Adult Attachment Patterns and Perceived Levels of Presenteeism and Absenteeism
School, Centre or Institute School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-05
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Pamela Meredith
Prof. Jenny Ziviani
Total pages 279
Total colour pages 7
Total black and white pages 272
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract/Summary Among Australian workers, poor overall health, lifestyle ‘risk’ factors such as excess weight,smoking, drinking and drug use, and high levels of work strain, have been identified as key contributors to reduced productivity levels at work (i.e., presenteeism) and increased time away from work (i.e., absenteeism). According to attachment theory, insecurely attached adults may be more vulnerable to experiencing poor health, engaging in health-risk behaviours and perceiving high levels of strain at work, in comparison to securely attached adults. By implication, insecurely attached adults may be comparatively less productive at work, suggesting the potential value of tailoring interventions to adequately support workers with insecure attachment patterns. Although there is evidence to show that attachment insecurity is related to compromised health, lifestyle risk factors and high levels of strain, the implications of these associations for reported presenteeism and absenteeism levels have not, to date, been empirically investigated. The aim of the present thesis was to explore associations between adult attachment patterns and perceived levels of presenteeism and absenteeism. Two research studies were conducted to achieve this research aim. Study One consisted of a Pilot Study and a Main Study, which investigated the associations between adult attachment patterns and both absenteeism and presenteeism in a sample of employed adults. In this investigation, three groups of variables were explored as potential mediators between attachment and productivity: reported level of negative emotions (i.e., depression, anxiety, and stress), perceived level of external affect regulator use (i.e., emotional eating, alcohol use, smoking and illicit drug use), and perceived levels of work strain (i.e., perceived level of demand, control, and support, at work). Study Two investigated associations between adult attachment patterns, perceived level of external affect regulator use, and reported length of unemployment time in a sample of job seekers. Both Study One and Study Two employed a cross-sectional, quantitative, self-report survey design with their respective samples. The Pilot Study in Study One was conducted with 21 adult workers employed full-time across three work sites in Brisbane, Australia. This study informed the development of the Main Study. There were 448 adult participants in the Main Study who either worked full-time or part-time across a range of occupations and worksites in Australia. For Study Two, 97 job seekers were surveyed: Participants of this study were unemployed and accessing an employment support service in Brisbane, Australia. For Study One, results of both the Pilot Study and the Main Study showed that, while attachment security was not associated with reports of less time taken off work (absenteeism), it appeared to buffer against reports of reduced productivity while at work (presenteeism). This was attributable to its association with emotional health, low rates of affective-emotional eating, and perceptions of high control and support at work. In contrast, workers with high levels of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were vulnerable to experiencing negative emotions, engaging in affective-emotional eating, and perceiving work to be isolating and straining. In turn, workers with high levels of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance reported decreased levels of productivity while at work. Results also revealed that workers with high levels of attachment avoidance reported increased absenteeism rates, and this was attributable to their tendency to engage in social-emotional eating and drug use. Supplementary to these findings, results of Study Two demonstrated that, among Australian job seekers, attachment anxiety was significantly associated with maladaptive forms of coping, including emotional eating, smoking, and drug use. Both attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety were positively and significantly related with unemployment time, providing further indication of low perceived work productivity rates among insecurely attached adults. On the whole, findings of the present thesis suggest that insecurely attached workers and job seekers are vulnerable to a range of risk factors associated with perceived productivity loss. Adopting an attachment perspective in workplace and employment-support settings may aid early identification of vulnerable workers and job seekers, enabling intervention strategies to be tailored to support workers and job seekers according to their attachment preferences. Although further research in this field is still required, the findings of the present thesis suggest that application of an attachment perspective is a promising avenue for enhancing current recruitment, employment support, and work-based intervention strategies.
Keyword attachment theory
External regulation of affect
Job strain
Additional Notes Colour: 36, 39, 148, 151, 160, 166, 234 Landscape: 48-51, 96, 139, 143, 145, 230

Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 12 Jun 2012, 11:16:06 EST by Miss Dragana Jovinov on behalf of Library - Information Access Service