Explaining the variable effects of social support on work-based stressor-strain relations: The role of perceived pattern of support exchange
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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Volume (Year): 114 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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- 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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- 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.
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