"It’s tough hanging-up a call”: The relationships between calling and work hours, psychological detachment, sleep quality and morning vigor

Mike Clinton, Neil Conway, Jane Sturges

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It has been argued that when people believe that their work is a calling, it can often be experienced as an intense and consuming passion with significant personal meaning. While callings have been demonstrated to have several positive outcomes for individuals, less is known about the potential downsides for those who experience work in this way. This study develops a multiple-meditation model proposing that, while the intensity of a calling has a positive direct effect on work-related vigor, it motivates people to work longer hours, which both directly and indirectly via longer work hours, limits their psychological detachment from work in the evenings. In turn, this process reduces sleep quality and morning vigor. Survey and diary data of 193 church ministers supported all hypotheses associated with this model. This implies that intense callings may limit the process of recovery from work experiences. The findings contribute to a more balanced theoretical understanding of callings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-39
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Calling
  • Diary
  • Psychological detachment
  • Sleep quality
  • Vigor
  • Work hours

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