Work injuries are a major concern for employees, organizations, and society at large. While injuries are routinely experienced, we have little understanding of their impact on return to work and post-return work functioning, and of the mechanisms underlying these effects. Prior research suggests that work injuries have a variety of effects on people’s psychological wellbeing and behavior, with victims facing significant disruption in their work lives. In an attempt to better understand the effects of work injury on the work lives of injured workers and to explore the mechanisms governing these effects, we deployed a prospective, multi-wave study of blue collar employees, in order to test a model capturing: (a) The implications of workplace injury on return to work and post-return work functioning; (b) The degree to which these effects are explained by levels and trajectories of distress and/or cognitive impairment; and (c) Whether and how a number of organizational characteristics, namely perceived supervisor and peer support as well as perceived job control, may moderate these effects. Understanding the impact of work injuries on employees’ work lives and the mechanisms by which these effects operate is critical in order to develop targeted and efficacious interventions aimed at facilitating return to work and enhanced post-return work outcomes.
Research Team: Cooper, B., Bamberger, P., Jingqiu, C., Zhou, J., Huang, M., Erez, A., & Ackerman, R.
Current Status: In data analysis, Target - Journal of Applied Psychology