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K-State Psychologist Studies Ways to Improve Soldiers' Work-Life Relationship
Date:11/25/2008

MANHATTAN, Kan., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. military provides its members with policies to help balance their work and family commitments. But a researcher at Kansas State University has found that simply providing programs might not be enough to maintain a supreme equilibrium.

Satoris Culbertson, assistant professor of psychology at K-State, and colleagues have been studying how soldiers' perceptions of a family-friendly environment relates to their physical fitness, confidence in task performance and intentions to remain in the military.

"Given the especially difficult circumstances surrounding military obligations for U.S. soldiers -- for example, an increased threat of deployment due to the current wartime context -- a better understanding of how family-friendly perceptions can benefit soldiers is increasingly important," Culbertson said.

Culbertson and colleagues examined survey data and performance measures of 230 U.S. Army personnel who were stationed in Europe in units with high deployment loads in 2001.

Work environments are considered family-friendly when they help employees manage family time and responsibilities, Culbertson said, adding that the U.S. military has policies in place like on-site educational classes and support groups for family members to create this ideal environment.

"The issue we were concerned about was not merely the availability of such programs, but the perceptions of the workplace as being family-friendly," Culbertson said. "Perceptions of a family-friendly organization can differ among employees because much of the perceptions are formed through policies, culture of the organization, and the attitudes and behaviors of the most direct supervisor or work group."

Some military personnel might not perceive the environment to be family-friendly if they have a superior or peer who i
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SOURCE Kansas State University
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