Standard Article

Employee Assistance Programs

  1. Jeremy W. Bray1,
  2. Georgia Karutzos2,
  3. Shelley M. MacDermind3

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0307

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Bray, J. W., Karutzos, G. and MacDermind, S. M. 2010. Employee Assistance Programs. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC

  2. 2

    RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC

  3. 3

    Purdue University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are workplace programs offered by employers to employees that assist troubled employees and their family members with a variety of issues, ranging from financial and legal concerns to mental health and substance abuse problems. EAPs traditionally focus on these problems as they affect workplace performance, but EAPs are broadening their focus to include the full range of work-life issues. The EAP movement in the United States grew out of industrial alcohol programs in the 1950s and saw its biggest growth during the 1980s. It was during the 1980s that most EAPs moved from primarily alcohol-focused programs to the multi-issue or broad-brush programs that they are today.


  • employee assistance program;
  • work-life;
  • health promotion