Relationship-to-Work Interference among Distressed Individuals: Investigating how Relationship Problems Spillover to Work Performance via Negative Affect and Ruminative Thoughts. A Cross-sectional Survey Study.
MetadataShow full item record
The present study examined, the relatively unexplored association between relationship problems and work performance via negative affect and ruminative thoughts. Based on previous research into work-to-relationship spillover and indirect evidence for relationship-to-work spillover, it was hypothesized that negative residuals, originating from relationship problems, spillover into the work domain and are negatively related to work performance. This spillover was expected to partially proceed through increased negative mood and increased ruminative thoughts. A survey was conducted among 108 working individuals who experienced significant relationship distress within their intimate relationships. Multiple mediation analyses were performed on the collected cross-sectional data. The findings did not reveal a spillover from any of the relationship problems constructs (severity, maximum, frequency) to work performance (task, contextual). Nonetheless, despite the results for the relationship problems construct were mixed, evidence was found for the mediating role of enhanced negative affect on the association between relationship problems and task performance. However, no evidence was found for ruminative thoughts. Furthermore, both increased negative affect and increased ruminative thoughts were found to mediate the association between relationship problems and contextual performance. The mixed and somewhat unexpected findings emphasize the importance to include each distinct relationship problems construct and to distinguish between task and contextual work performance in order to provide a comprehensive theoretical relationship-to-work interference framework. Limitations and implications for future work are discussed.