Psychological detachment: A moderator in the relationship of self-control demands and job strain

Wladislaw Rivkin, Stefan Diestel, Klaus-helmut Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the present article, we investigate psychological detachment as a moderator of the positive relationship of self-control demands (SCDs) and indicators of psychological strain. Based on the propositions that (a) SCDs are a source of work stress, which draws on and depletes limited regulatory resources and (b) psychological detachment facilitates the recovery of that resource, we expected that psychological detachment attenuates the positive relationships between SCDs and psychological strain (ego depletion, need for recovery, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization). We tested our prediction in two different studies with hierarchical moderated regression analyses. Results of the first study (N = 445) provided strong support for our prediction that psychological detachment buffers the adverse impact of SCDs on strain. In the second study (N = 426), we replicated our initial findings and tested the theoretical assertion that psychological detachment is more effective in buffering those stressors that deplete limited regulatory resources (SCDs) in contrast to stressors (job ambiguity), which are considered to cause strain through other mechanisms. Contrastive comparisons of the differential interaction patterns of psychological detachment with stressors that induce self-control efforts and job ambiguity supported our prediction that psychological detachment is more effective in attenuating the adverse effects of SCDs on psychological strain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-388
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015

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