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J Appl Psychol. 2011 May;96(3):643-53. doi: 10.1037/a0022134.

Costs of simultaneous coping with emotional dissonance and self-control demands at work: results from two German samples.

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Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at Technical University of Dortmund, Ardeystr. 67, Dortmund D-44139, Germany.


In the present study, we examine interactive effects of emotional dissonance (ED) and self-control demands (SCDs; impulse control, resisting distractions, and overcoming inner resistances) on emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, depressive symptoms, and absenteeism. We derived the prediction of interactive effects from the well-founded theoretical argument that both sources of work stress draw on and compete for a common limited regulatory resource. On the basis of 2 German samples (1 cross-sectional and 1 longitudinal sample; NTOTAL = 367), 7 of the 8 interactions tested were found to explain significant proportions of variance in all 4 outcomes considered over and beyond that accounted for by demographic characteristics, outcome stability (longitudinal sample), and main effects. Consistent with our hypotheses, the positive relations of 1 of both stressors (ED or SCDs) to psychological strain and absenteeism were amplified as a function of the other stressor. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

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