Welcome to the Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) Lab at the University at Albany

Thank you for visiting the OHP lab at the University at Albany.  Housed in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Ph.D. and M.A. programs at UAlbany, the OHP lab is devoted to understanding the effects of work organizations on the stress and well-being of workers and their families.  Common across our research projects is an interest in behavioral, psychological, and physical adaptation to workplace stress over time and the methods we can use to study and develop knowledge about these issues. 

The primary programs of current research in this lab fall into three categories as listed below:
The Effects of Morality on Employee Stress and Health

In this research program we look at the relationship between morality and employee stress. Research has found consistently negative effects of unfair treatment on worker physical and psychological health but the reasons are not entirely clear.  We are currently looking to moral emotions as an explanation. Ongoing projects in this area are looking at:
  • the structure and function of moral emotions at work
  • health implications of negative (anger, contempt) and positive (gratitude, elevation) moral emotions
  • distinctions between organizational moral obligations and ideals

Our work on workplace unfairness and health has been covered by the Wall Street Journal and Fox Business News.

http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2011/10/10/is-your-job-making-you-sick/

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/11/01/in-unfair-work-situation-it-could-cost-your-health/
Structural Origins of 
Occupational Stress

This program of research asks a simple question.  Why is one job's conditions more favorable (e.g., less demanding, safer, more autonomous, more supportive) than those of another job?  These conditions seem to vary as a function of occupations, work group and organizational membership, and industry, among other things, all of which can be considered through the lens of organizational systems. Specific projects in this area are looking or have looked at:
  • pathways linking the macro-economy to employee well-being through work role characteristics
  • group climates for the relative priority placed on family in organizations
  • occupational-level disparities in workplace stressors, hazard exposure, injuries, and distress
  • occupational and group-level disparities in safety commitment and psychological empowerment in hospitals
Work-Family Conflict and Enrichment in the U.S. and China
 
Our research in this area focuses on the conflict and spillover across work and family roles.  We are particularly interested in cultural differences between traditionally Western countries and China.  Through our research collaborations with the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, projects have looked at or are currently looking at:
  • Differences in the relative importance of family-to-work and work-to-family spillover
  • Stronger reactions to work-family enrichment in China than in the U.S.
  • Cultural (e.g., collectivism) and economic (e.g., GDP) explanations for differences in the nature of the work-family interface.  
Some of this work has been covered by HealthDay News and picked up by several news websites:

http://webmd.com/balance/news/20130709/that-bad-boss-may-be-toxic-to-your-family-too