Wearing many hats? Research on work-nonwork interface

Source: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Published on 2021-06-30

At any point in time, we wear more than one hat, serving multiple roles in life.


Many of us, for example, are a teacher, a spouse, a parent, and a son/daughter. Because we have limited resources – time, money, and energy – fulfilling expectations for multiple roles is often difficult. How do we, then, manage multiple life roles? How does such multiple role engagement influence our health and well-being? How can we support and empower individuals to be more successful in every aspect of their life?

Eun-Ae Cho, Assistant Professor, Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine

As an industrial-organizational psychologist who is specialized in occupational health psychology, I examine the complex ways that paid work interacts with various nonwork roles and the effect of multiple role engagement on employee health and wellbeing. For example, I investigate whether and how occupational experiences influence family experiences, looking at whether those employed parents who frequently experience conflict between work and family roles engage in less desirable parenting behaviors (Cho & Allen, 2012) or whether employees are hostile in their marital interaction on the days they are more stressed at work (Meier & Cho, 2019). I also examine whether optimal work-family experiences (Cho & Tay, 2016) and other psychosocial stressors (e.g., fairness at work in terms of efforts and rewards; Cho & Chen, 2020) matter for workers’ well-being.

Questions I explore in more recent projects reflect issues in the changing world. For example, I examine role demands and health among workers who have eldercare responsibilities (Cho et al., in progress), trying to understand ways to better support this growing segment of population. As another example, I study work-family issues among workers who do not reside in their own countries, such as expatriates (Cho & Chew, 2020) or immigrant workers (Cho & Allen, 2019). I also study multiple role engagement among emerging adults (Choo, Kan, & Cho, 2019), as part-time working during school-term has become a commonplace for college students around the world.

I plan to continue and expand my research program at Taipei Medical University. Given the rapid population aging in Taiwan, I believe my research on working caregivers and mature workers is relevant and beneficial to Taiwan. I also hope to conduct more interdisciplinary research, working with researchers specialized in the fields of medicine, public health, and management at Taipei Medical University to find evidence-based solutions for workers’ health and well-being.

I have earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yonsei University, Korea, and the master’s and doctorate degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology with the Occupational Health Psychology concentration from the University of South Florida, USA. Before joining the faculty of Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine (GIHM) at Taipei Medical University, I worked as an assistant professor in the psychology program at the University at Albany, the State University of New York, and at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

SDGs in Actions