Work stressors and partner social undermining: Comparing negative affect and psychological detachment as mechanisms

Laurenz L. Meier, Eunae Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the mounting evidence that employees' work experiences spill over into the family domain and cross over to family members, it is important to understand the underlying mechanism through which work experiences affect the family domain and what factors may alleviate the adverse impact of work stress. Expanding previous research that mainly focused on the affect-based mechanism (negative affect), the present research investigated a resource-based mechanism (psychological detachment from work) in the relationship linking two work stressors (high workload and workplace incivility) with social undermining toward the partner at home. We also explored the relative strength of the mediating effects of the two mechanisms. In addition, we tested whether relationship satisfaction moderates the proposed effect of detachment on partner undermining. We tested these research questions using two studies with differing designs: A five-wave longitudinal study (N = 470) and a multisource study (N = 131). The results suggest that stressful work experiences affect the family domain via lack of detachment as well as negative affect, that the two pathways have comparable strength, and that high relationship satisfaction mitigates the negative effect of lack of detachment on partner undermining. In sum, this research extends the spillover-crossover model by establishing that poor psychological detachment from work during leisure time is an additional mechanism that links work and family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-372
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Psychological detachment from work
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Social undermining
  • The spillover-crossover model
  • Work stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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