Structural Equation Model of Emotional Labor, Work–Home Interaction, and Well-Being. By: Ballentine, Kess and Woo, Jihee. 2021. Social Work Research.

Social work best practices encourage empathy. However, empathy may both prevent and contribute to negative effects of work on worker well-being through emotional labor and spillover into home life. Theory and research suggest that work–family interaction (WFI) may mediate the relationship between emotional labor and worker well-being. The current work examines this framework using structural equation modeling. Authors hypothesized emotional labor to directly and indirectly relate to worker well-being through WFI. Data are from an online survey of 218 Pennsylvanian social workers. The structural equation model was a good fit: χ2(185) = 298.373, p < .001, comparative fit index = .940, Tucker–Lewis index = .926, root mean square error of approximation = .055, 90% confidence interval [0.044, 0.067], standardized root mean square residual = .050. Results show that emotional labor is directly associated with well-being. Negative WFI played a role in mediating the relationship between emotional labor and worker well-being. These results suggest that workplace policy and practice changes could improve worker well-being by adjusting both emotional labor and WFI.