The development and initial validation of a new working time scale for full-time workers with non-standard schedules

BMC Public Health. 2022 Aug 20;22(1):1586. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-13963-7.


BACKGROUND: Working time characteristics have been used to link work schedule features to health impairment; however, extant working time exposure assessments are narrow in scope. Prominent working time frameworks suggest that a broad range of schedule features should be assessed to best capture non-standard schedules. The purpose of this study was to develop a multi-dimensional scale that assesses working time exposures and test its reliability and validity for full-time workers with non-standard schedules.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using full-time, blue-collar worker population samples from three industries – transportation (n = 174), corrections (n = 112), and manufacturing (n = 99). Using a multi-phased approach including the review of scientific literature and input from an advisory panel of experts, the WorkTime Scale (WTS) was created and included multiple domains to characterize working time (length, time of day, intensity, control, predictability, and free time). Self-report surveys were distributed to workers at their workplace during company time. Following a comprehensive scale development procedure (Phase 1), exploratory factor analysis (EFA) (Phase 2) and, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) (Phase 3; bivariate correlations were used to identify the core components of the WTS and assess the reliability and validity (Phase 4) in three samples.

RESULTS: Phase 1 resulted in a preliminary set of 21 items that served as the basis for the quantitative analysis of the WTS. Phase 2 used EFA to yield a 14-item WTS measure with two subscales (“Extended and Irregular Work Days (EIWD)” and “Lack of Control (LOC)”). Phase 3 used CFA to confirm the factor structure of the WTS, and its subscales demonstrated good internal consistency: alpha coefficients were 0.88 for the EIWD factor and 0.76-0.81 for the LOC factor. Phase 4 used bivariate correlations to substantiate convergent, discriminant, and criterion (predictive) validities.

CONCLUSIONS: The 14-item WTS with good reliability and validity is an effective tool for assessing working time exposures in a variety of full-time jobs with non-standard schedules.

PMID:35987991 | DOI:10.1186/s12889-022-13963-7

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