Employee Work Status, Mental Health, Substance Use, and Career Turnover Intentions: An Examination of Restaurant Employees During COVID-19


Career turnover intentions; Covid-19 pandemic; Employee work Status; Restaurant employees; Substance use


The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the restaurant industry and employees in the worst possible way. This empirical study aims to examine the relationships between employees’ work status (working, furloughed, or laid-off), mental health (psychological well-being and psychological distress), substance use (drug and alcohol use), and career turnover intentions during the pandemic. Analyzing the responses of 585 restaurant employees using structural equation modelling (SEM), findings revealed that working employees experienced higher levels of psychological distress, drug and alcohol use than furloughed employees. Moreover, psychological distress increased drug and alcohol use, as well as career turnover intentions. Lastly, all employees, regardless of their mental health, increased their substance use and indicated a desire to seek future employment in alternate industries during the pandemic. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed in detail.

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Original Citation

Bufquin, D., Park, J.-Y., Back, R. M., de Souza Meira, J. V., & Hight, S. K. (2021). Employee work status, mental health, substance use, and career turnover intentions: An examination of restaurant employees during COVID-19. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 93, N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102764

Document Type




Source Title

International Journal of Hospitality Management




Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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