Control over work, positive self, and health among African American Husbands and Wives

Catherine W. O’Neal, K. A.S. Wickrama, Chalandra M. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Using a sample of 344 dual-earner African American married couples, this study examined the effect of control over work on depressive symptoms and physical health with a dyadic model. The mediating role of personal resources capturing positive self-evaluations (i.e., self-esteem and mastery) was also examined. The association between wives’ control over work and wives’ physical and mental health was mediated by wives’ positive self. Although husbands’ control over work was not directly associated with husbands’ physical or mental health, it was associated with their sense of positive self, which influenced their level of depressive symptoms and physical health. No cross-spouse influences were found, suggesting a lack of interdependence for African American husbands and wives. The practical implications of this research include the value of work organization policies that may increase workers’ sense of control and personal resources as these variables are important to workers’ health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-410
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was funded by Grant R01-HD050045-05 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Chalandra M. Bryant, Principal Investigator).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 The Author(s).


  • Family health
  • Quantitative
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Social psychology
  • Work and family


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