Why is your boss making you sick? A longitudinal investigation modeling time-lagged relations between abusive supervision and employee physical health

Lindie H. Liang, Samuel Hanig, Rochelle Evans, Douglas J. Brown, Huiwen Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although an abundance of cross-sectional data have linked abusive supervision with employees' experience of health-related problems, further research accounting for the temporal dynamics of these variables is needed to establish causality. Furthermore, the process by which abusive supervision relates to subordinate health problems requires greater clarification. In a 1-year longitudinal cross-lagged investigation, we sought to test the time-lagged relationship between abusive supervision and employee physical health; additionally, we test rumination as a cognitive process that mediates this time-lagged relationship while modeling other relevant social and motivational mediators. Our results indicate that subordinate ruminative thinking about their experiences of abusive supervision mediates the time-lagged association between abusive supervision and physical health problems. These findings suggest that reducing ruminative thinking may limit the long-term impact of abusive supervision on employees' physical health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1065
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank ElaineTran and Raina Armstrong for their assistance with data collection. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 71771133) awarded to the first author, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant 435‐2014‐0353) awarded to the fourth author.

Funding Information:
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Grant/Award Number: 435‐2014‐0353; National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant/Award Number: 71771133

Keywords

  • abusive supervision
  • cross-lagged panel design
  • occupational health
  • rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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