Work Stress and Alcohol Use: A National Study of Unresolved and Unexplored Issues

The main goals of this study were to determine which negative work conditions are related to alcohol use away from work and during the workday and to identify subgroups of workers who are especially vulnerable to work stress-induced alcohol use.

The use of alcohol off and on the job by employed adults represents an important social policy issue because it may affect employee health and productivity. In a systematic extension of past research, Dr. Frone investigated a broad classification of work stressors to determine the general types of work stressors that may be related to employee alcohol use. Secondly, a broad set of alcohol measures were used to determine if work stressors are more strongly related to certain dimensions of alcohol involvement including overall alcohol involvement and work-related, context-specific alcohol involvement. Lastly, a broad set of variables expected to moderate or mediate the relation between work stressors and alcohol use were examined. A national telephone survey was conducted using a representative sample of 3,500 employed individuals 18 to 65 years old. This study is expected to help shape future research by leading to a more comprehensive model of work stress and employee alcohol use. It will contribute to organizational policy and shape future intervention research on workforce and workplace alcohol use by identifying work conditions and vulnerable subgroups that can be the focus of intervention efforts and work redesign. Funded by a grant of $2,242,465 from NIAAA, 2007-2012.