The study examined the day-to-day relationship between alcohol use and workplace absenteeism among 280 employees of three large companies, Ford Motor Co., National Cash Register and General Electric. Data were collected from the employees themselves, a friend or family member familiar with their drinking behavior and records from the human resource departments of the three companies.
Results of the study by William Fals-Stewart, Ph.D., RIA investigator and research associate professor in UB's Department of Psychology, and Susan F. McFarlin, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., were published in the March issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
Funding for the study was provided by two grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse totaling $4 million.
"A national telephone survey conducted in 2000 found that on the day after a drinking episode, a work absence was more than three times more likely than on a day after which there was no drinking," Fals-Stewart noted.
"The purpose of our study was to extend that work by collecting not only self-reports about drinking as the previous study had, but collateral information as well. Our results show a significant relationship between alcohol use and workplace absences."
Data were collected using a calendar and other memory aids over a four-week period. A "collateral informant," identified by the employee, also was interviewed about the employee's drinking. The information about day-to-day drinking from employees showed substantial agreement with that provided by the "collateral informant." Data regarding missed days
Contact: Kathleen Weaver
University at Buffalo