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Keywords:

  • mental health;
  • perceived stress;
  • person-environment fit;
  • work–family conflict

Aim

This study examines whether higher perceived stress among female hospital workers can result in more serious work–family conflict (WFC) and poorer mental health, and also identifies the role that person–environment (P-E) fit plays in moderating these relationships.

Background

Female hospital workers with higher perceived stress tend to report greater WFC and worse mental health than others with less perceived stress. A better fit between a person and her environment may lead to lower perceived stress. As a result, she may experience less WFC and better mental health.

Methods

This study adopts a longitudinal design with 273 participants, all of whom are employed by hospitals in Taiwan. All hypotheses are tested using hierarchical regression analyses.

Results

The results show that perceived stress is an effective predictor of WFC and mental health status, whereas the P-E fit can moderate these relationships.

Conclusion

Hospitals should pay more attention to the negative effects of perceived high stress on the WFC levels and mental health of their female employees. The P-E fit can buffer effectively the impact of perceived stress on both WFC and mental health.

Implications for nursing management

If hospitals can adopt appropriate human resource management practices as well as monitor and manage the P-E fit continuously, they can better help their employees to fit into the overall hospital environment.