Dormant tie reactivation as an affiliative coping response to stressors during the COVID-19 crisis.

Seong Won Yang, Scott M. Soltis, Jason R. Ross, Giuseppe (Joe) Labianca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study takes an affiliative coping theory perspective to examine whether working adults reactivated dormant ties with individuals they had not contacted for at least 3 years to cope with stressors experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stressors originating in the workplace (job insecurity and remote work) and in the family (stressful familial social ties) were examined in a sample of 232 working adults in the southeastern United States. Individuals were more likely to reactivate their dormant ties when their job was insecure, and the magnitude of the reactivations was greater among individuals experiencing stressful social ties with family members than those not experiencing those stressors. We also found that there was a significant interaction between remote work and having a stressful tie within the household in dormant tie reactivation. Although previous theory has focused mostly on the benefits of frequent, active social relationships for coping, our results suggest that reactivating dormant ties might be a coping mechanism as well. Our study also suggests that workplace dormant tie research should broaden its focus beyond exchanged instrumental support to consider emotional support that might be transferred during reactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-500
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • coping
  • dormant ties
  • social networks
  • stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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