Co-worker and leader support as moderators of stress-strain relationships in work situations

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At least 2 alternative hypotheses have been offered to describe relationships of job-related stress and social support with various outcomes. One hypothesis holds that stress and support are additive, that is, each exerts a direct influence on outcomes such as satisfaction, self-esteem, retention, and so forth. The 2nd hypothesis holds that support buffers or moderates the effects of stress, that is, high levels of support may overcome negative outcomes normally related to stress. The present study compared direct effect with interactive or moderator models for relationships between measures of job stress (role ambiguity and role conflict) and support from leaders and co-workers. Measures were derived from questionnaire responses of 3,725 US Navy enlisted personnel. Potential moderating or buffering effects of social support were assessed by both moderated regression and subgrouping analyses techniques. Results support the direct effects hypothesis but generally fail to provide evidence for the buffering hypothesis. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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