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Explaining the variable effects of social support on work-based stressor-strain relations: The role of perceived pattern of support exchange

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  • Nahum-Shani, Inbal
  • Bamberger, Peter A.
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    Abstract

    Seeking to explain mixed empirical findings regarding the buffering effect of social support on work-based stress-strain relations, we posit that whether an increase in the level of support received buffers or exacerbates the harmful effects of workload on employee health and well-being is contingent upon the general pattern characterizing an employee supportive exchanges across his/her close relationships. Specifically, we propose that the buffering effect of receiving social support depends on whether the employee perceives his/her social exchanges as reciprocal (support given equals support received), under-reciprocating (support given exceeds support received), or over-reciprocating (support received exceeds support given). Based on longitudinal data collected from a random sample of blue-collar workers, our findings support our predictions, indicating that the buffering effect of social support on the relationship between work hours (on the one hand) and employee health and well-being (on the other) varies as a function of the pattern of exchange relations between an employee and his/her close support providers.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 114 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 49-63

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:114:y:2011:i:1:p:49-63

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Social support Stress Buffering Work hours Conservation of resources Social exchange Reciprocity Esteem-enhancement Well-being Dyadic support relations;

    References

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    1. Sprangers, Mirjam A. G. & Schwartz, Carolyn E., 1999. "Integrating response shift into health-related quality of life research: a theoretical model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(11), pages 1507-1515, June.
    2. Daltroy, Lawren H. & Larson, Martin G. & Eaton, Holley M. & Phillips, Charlotte B. & Liang, Matthew H., 1999. "Discrepancies between self-reported and observed physical function in the elderly: the influence of response shift and other factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(11), pages 1549-1561, June.
    3. Schwartz, Carolyn E. & Sendor, Rabbi Meir, 1999. "Helping others helps oneself: response shift effects in peer support," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(11), pages 1563-1575, June.
    4. Dibb, Bridget & Yardley, Lucy, 2006. "How does social comparison within a self-help group influence adjustment to chronic illness? A longitudinal study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1602-1613, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hsee, Christopher K. & Shen, Luxi & Zhang, Shirley & Chen, Jingqiu & Zhang, Li, 2012. "Fate or fight: Exploring the hedonic costs of competition," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 177-186.

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