LBS Faculty, Eugene Ohu explores the intersection between parents’ work-life and children’s health


LBS Faculty, Eugene Ohu explores the intersection between parents’ work-life and children’s health

Lagos Business School faculty, Dr Eugene Ohu has contributed to a paper published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology on the impact of parents’ work life on the health of their children.

Titled When work-family conflict hits home: Parental work-family conflict and child health’, the paper explores the effects of workplace autonomy for parents on children’s health. “Children’s health is less likely to be negatively affected when their parents feel a sense of control over their work lives”, it posits.

Dr Ohu authored the paper in collaboration with the University of Houston Professor of Industrial Organisational Psychology and Managing Director of the Centre for Advancing UH Faculty Success, Christiane Spitzmueller; Jing Zhang of California State University-San Bernadino; Candice L. Thomas of St. Louis University; Anne Osezua of the Institute for Work and Family Integration; and Jia Yu of the University of Houston.

The paper used data collated from parents and teenage children from low income and wealthy families in Lagos, with its findings applicable to the United States as the wealthy families in Lagos have traits (income, educational level, etc.) similar to those in the West.

According to the paper, parental self-control is connected to better health outcomes for children. In other words, how people parent when they experience high levels of stress is fundamentally different from how they parent when they are coping well, especially at work.

“At lower levels of job autonomy, employees likely have to rely more on self-regulatory resources to compensate for the impact of limited control over one’s job or one’s personal life. At higher levels of job autonomy, freedom and more decision-making opportunities are likely to motivate the person to engage; however, self-regulatory resources would be less needed”, the paper states.

In its conclusion, organisations and businesses are encouraged to introduce workplace interventions that promote job autonomy. It emphasizes that giving employees control over their work schedule yields positive results for them and their children.

Dr Ohu teaches Organisational Behaviour/Human Resource Management at LBS and has published several papers and case studies with other authors locally and internationally.

LBS remains committed to impacting the practice of management in Africa and has a robust faculty of academics and industry leaders, through which it achieves this.

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