Asebedo, doctoral student in the College of Human Ecology's personal financial
planning and conflict resolution programme, Edina, Minnesota, conducted a study using
the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. She and her colleagues – Sonya
Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and director of
the university's personal financial planning programme, and Jamie Blue, doctoral
student in personal financial planning, Tallahassee, Florida – found a
preliminary link between workaholics and reduced physical and mental
well-being. The study, "Workaholics and Well-Being", will appear in
Financial Services Review, a journal of individual financial management.
looked at the association between workaholics and physical and mental
well-being," Asebedo said. "We found workaholics – defined by those
working more than 50 hours per week – were more likely to have reduced
physical well-being, measured by skipped meals. Also, we found that workaholics were associated with reduced mental well-being as measured by a self-reported
between workaholics and well-being has been assumed for years; however, there
was a lack of research supporting the link until this study, Asebedo said. To
understand why people work overtime even when they know it is not good for
their well-being, the researchers used Gary S. Becker's Theory of the
Allocation of Time, a mathematical analysis for choice measuring the cost of
looks at the cost of time as if it were a market good," Asebedo said.
"This theory suggests that the more money you make, the more likely you
are to work more. If you are not engaged in work-related activities, then there
is a cost to the alternative way in which time is spent. Even if you understand
the negative consequences to workaholics, you may still be likely to continue
working because the cost of not doing so becomes greater."
to Asebedo, Becker's theory suggests that not only can working more make a
person wealthier but it also creates less leisure time to spend money. As
income increases a person may be more likely to work more and create an
Counteracting the effects
full-time wealth manager for Accredited Investors in Edina, Asebedo has found
the research useful in counselling clients. She advises workaholics to be aware
of the effect excessive work has on their physical and mental well-being and to
be prepared for what they can do to mitigate or counteract the effects during
busy work periods.
a financial planning and counselling perspective, it's good to be aware of workaholics,"
Asebedo said. "It helps me understand what can be the cause of my clients'
stress. It's just a reminder that you may want to dig a bit deeper into
clients' work lives. Sometimes you might find that they don't like what they are
doing and they want to make a change, yet financially, they don't know how they
can accomplish that."
received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas State University. She
returned to the university to get her doctorate in personal financial planning
through the Division of Continuing Education distance program because she was
interested in researching the role conflict resolution plays in financial
the study was taken from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort,
a nationally representative sample of 12,686 young men and women who were
interviewed on an annual basis from 1979 through 1994 and are currently
interviewed on a biennial basis.