When Distress Hits Home: The Role of Contextual Factors and Psychological Distress in Predicting Employees' Responses to Abusive Supervision

Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Kristin L. Scott, Thomas J. Zagenczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We developed a model of the relationships among aggressive norms, abusive supervision, psychological distress, family undermining, and supervisor-directed deviance. We tested the model in 2 studies using multisource data: a 3-wave investigation of 184 full-time employees (Study 1) and a 2-wave investigation of 188 restaurant workers (Study 2). Results revealed that (a) abusive supervision mediated the relationship between aggressive norms and psychological distress, (b) psychological distress mediated the effects of abusive supervision on spouse undermining, (c) abusive supervision had a direct positive relationship with supervisor-directed deviance, (d) the positive relationship between psychological distress and spouse undermining was stronger for men as opposed to women, and (e) employees engaged in relationship-oriented occupations reported greater levels of abusive supervision and psychological distress. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-729
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume96
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • Abusive supervision
  • Aggressive norms
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Psychological distress
  • Spouse undermining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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