Portland State University. Department of Psychology
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology
Employee assistance programs
1 online resource (62 pages)
It is estimated that 20% of American employees have some sort of a personal problem that substantially hinders their work performance. This can result in future consequences for both the employee and employer, such as loss of job by the employee and increased expenses for the employer. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP's) are one of the leading approaches used in an attempt to mitigate problems experienced by distressed workers. EAP's are formal intervention systems that assist employees with a variety of personal problems. Studies have shown that EAP's are effective in treating employee problems, however, most employees do not take advantage of this service The goal of this study was to identify factors that predict increased likelihood of employee self referrals to an EAP and whether there were any significant differences in factors relating to self versus supervisory referrals to an EAP. Previous literature had not explored the latter issue.
Seventy-one subjects, 37 males and 34 females, from a government agency participated in the study. Of the 71 participants, 33 were supervisors and 38 were subordinate employees. Each subject completed a Likert-type survey that assessed their willingness to either self refer themselves or refer their subordinate employees to an EAP for a variety of problems. Supervisors assessed their willingness to refer subordinate employees to an EAP, while subordinates assessed their willingness to self refer to an EAP.
Multiple regression analyses indicated that the variables of familiarity, embarrassment, attention, effectiveness, trust, control and referral by supervisor were significant in predicting an employees' willingness to self refer to an EAP for a variety of personal problems. Furthermore, analyses suggested that there was a difference between employees and supervisors in factors related to willingness to refer to an EAP. The primary difference was that supervisors mainly considered the overall effectiveness of the EAP program when deciding willingness to refer employees while employees mostly considered job security concerns, such as referral by supervisor or trust in confidentiality, when deciding willingness to self refer to an EAP. Future research should investigate this issue further to examine if this conclusion can be generalized to other organizations.
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Gray, Jeffrey M., "An Examination of Factors Influencing Self Versus Supervisory Referrals to an Employee Assistance Program" (1996). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5192.