Stress, satisfaction, and the work-family interface: a comparison of self-employed business owners, independents, and organizational employees

J Occup Health Psychol. 2006 Oct;11(4):366-78. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.11.4.366.


Using data from the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW) (N = 3,504), we examined differences among organizational employment and two categories of self-employment: independent contractors and small business owners. Our results suggest that self-employment, either as owner or independent, may allow individuals to achieve greater autonomy than would be available to them as organizational employees. However, the greater pressure associated with ownership of a small business detracts from the advantages of having autonomy, making small business ownership a double-edged sword. Those working as independent contractors appear to reap the benefits of greater autonomy as well as lower levels of job pressure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Employment / psychology*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Organizations
  • Ownership*
  • Stress, Physiological / psychology*