Co-Rumination in the Workplace: Adjustment Trade-offs for Men and Women Who Engage in Excessive Discussions of Workplace Problems
- 936 Downloads
Developmental psychology research finds that when children and adolescents engage in excessive discussion of problems with friends, a phenomenon termed “co-rumination,” they experience trade-offs between negative adjustment outcomes (e.g., depression), but better friendship quality. This study examines the possibility that adults in the workplace engage in co-rumination about workplace problems, and that co-rumination, gender, and the presence of abusive supervision influence both positive and negative individual outcomes.
A sample of 147 adults ranging in age and occupation completed a questionnaire assessing co-rumination, abusive supervision, and workplace outcomes.
Results suggested that women engage in more co-rumination than men, and that abusive supervision exacerbates its negative effects for women. In contrast, for men experiencing high abusive supervision, co-rumination was associated with reduced negative effects. However, under low abusive supervision, co-rumination had no significant effect on any outcome variable for women, but was related to negative outcomes for men.
This study suggests that co-rumination is useful for understanding different types of social support in workplace contexts, and in particular, how men and women might differ in social support seeking. Co-rumination might prove useful for reconciling the somewhat mixed results regarding social support in helping individuals cope with workplace problems.
This study is the first to examine co-rumination in working adults. It provides insight into how the interaction among co-rumination, gender, and exposure to stress (e.g., abusive supervision) influence both positive and negative individual outcomes.
KeywordsCo-rumination Abusive supervision Social support Workplace adjustment Emotional adjustment
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Bartolomé, F., & Evans, P. A. L. (1980). Must success cost so much? Harvard Business Review, 58, 137–148.Google Scholar
- Elfering, A., Semmer, N. K., Schade, V., Grund, S., & Boos, N. (2002). Supportive colleague, unsupportive supervisor: The role of provider-specific constellations of social support at work in the development of low back pain. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7, 130–140.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Jöreskog, K., & Sörbom, D. (1993). LISERAL 8: Structural equation modeling with the SIMPLIS command language. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Kahn, R. L., & Byosiere, P. (Eds.). (1992). Stress in organizations (2nd ed., Vol. 3). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Laurenceau, J.-P., Barrett, L. F., & Pietromonaco, P. R. (1998). Intimacy as an interpersonal process: The importance of self-disclosure, partner disclosure, and perceived partner responsiveness in interpersonal exchanges. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1238–1251.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Matthews, R. A., Bulger, C. A., & Barnes-Farrell, J. L. (in press). Work social supports, role stressors, and work-family conflict: The moderating effect of age. Journal of Vocational Behavior. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2009.06.011.
- Sandelands, L. E., & Boudens, C. J. (2000). Feeling at work. In S. Fineman (Ed.), Emotion in organizations (pp. 46–63). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Schwartz-Mette, R. A., & Rose, A. J. (under review). Co-rumination mediates contagion of internalizing symptoms with youths’ friendships.Google Scholar
- Spector, P. E. (1997). Job satisfaction: Application, assessment, cause, and consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Tannen, D. (1994). Talking from 9 to 5: How women’s and men’s conversational styles affect who gets heard, who gets credit, and what gets done at work. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.Google Scholar
- Thierry, H., & Meijman, T. (1994). Time and behavior at work. In H. C. Triandis, M. D. Dunnette, & L. M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., Vol. 4, pp. 341–413). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Waller, E. M., & Rose, A. J. (in press). Adjustment trade-offs of co-rumination in mother-adolescent relationships. Journal of Adolescence. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.06.002.
- Wrzesniewski, A., Dutton, J. E., & Debebe, G. (2003). Interpersonal sensemaking and the meaning of work. In R. M. Kramer & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior: An annual series of analytical essays and critical reviews (Vol. 25, pp. 93–135). Oxford, England: Elsevier Science Ltd.Google Scholar