Workplace Incivility Ruins my Sleep and Yours: the Costs of Being in a Work-Linked Relationship
Workplace incivility (i.e., rudeness and disrespect) is a pervasive problem that impacts a number of important employee workplace outcomes. This study expands past research on outcomes of experienced incivility by proposing a spillover-crossover model in which experienced incivility is associated with negative work rumination outside of work as well as insomnia symptoms (i.e., spillover). We further propose that rumination in one employee is also linked to insomnia symptoms in the employee’s partner (i.e., crossover). The moderating effect of being work-linked (working in the same organization or occupation as one’s partner) was also investigated. We tested the hypothesized Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model in the context of dual-earner couples (N = 305). To test moderation effects, we conducted a multi-group analysis by comparing our hypothesized model across work-linked and non-linked couples. Our results support the spillover effect, suggesting that experienced incivility is linked to employee insomnia symptoms through rumination. However, the crossover effect was only found among work-linked couples. By connecting the sleep and workplace incivility literatures, our findings support a dyadic model in which workplace incivility, as an interpersonal stressor, is linked to employee as well as partner insomnia through negative work rumination. Interventions aimed at alleviating negative work rumination may help reduce work-home spillover as well as crossover, particularly for work-linked, dual-earner couples.
KeywordsSpillover Crossover Incivility Rumination Sleep Work-linked Couples
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2013). The spillover-crossover model. In E. Demerouti & J.G. Grzywacz (Eds.), New frontiers in work and family research (pp. 54–70). Hove Sussex: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Barnes, C. M., Miller, J. A., & Bostock, S. (2018). Helping employees sleep well: Effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia on work outcomes.Google Scholar
- Brosschot, J. F., Gerin, W., & Thayer, J. F. (2006). The perseverative cognition hypothesis: A review of worry, prolonged stress-related physiological activation, and health. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 60, 113–124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2005.06.074.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cropley, M., & Zijlstra, F. R. H. (2011). Work and rumination. In J. Langan-Fox & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Handbook of stress in the occupations. United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd..Google Scholar
- Driver, H. S. (2016). Sleep disorders at work. In J. Barling, C. M. Barnes, E. Carlton, & D. T. Wagner (Eds.), Work and sleep: Research insights for the workplace. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hahn, V. C., Binnewies, C., Sonnentag, S., & Mojza, E. J. (2011). Learning how to recover from job stress: Effects of a recovery training program on recovery, recovery-related self-efficacy, and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16, 202–216. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022169.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Halbesleben, J. R., Zellars, K. L., Carlson, D. S., Perrewé, P. L., & Rotondo, D. (2010). The moderating effect of work-linked couple relationships and work–family integration on the spouse instrumental support-emotional exhaustion relationship. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15, 371–387. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020521.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Halbesleben, J. R., Wheeler, A. R., & Rossi, A. M. (2012). The costs and benefits of working with one's spouse: A two-sample examination of spousal support, work–family conflict, and emotional exhaustion in work-linked relationships. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 597–615. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Haun, V. C., Nübold, A., & Bauer, A. G. (2018). Being mindful at work and at home: Buffering effects in the stressor-detachment model. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12200.
- Janning, M. (1999). A conceptual framework for examining work-family boundary permeability for professional married co-workers. Women and Work, 1, 41–57.Google Scholar
- Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Cook, W. L. (2006). The analysis of dyadic data. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Kessler, R. C., & McLeod, J. D. (1984). Sex differences in vulnerability to undesirable life events. American Sociological Review, 620–631.Google Scholar
- Leiter, M. P., Day, A., Oore, D. G., & Laschinger, H. K. (2012). Getting better and staying better: Assessing civility, incivility, distress, and job attitudes one year after a civility intervention. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17, 425–434. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029540.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lim, S., Ilies, R., Koopman, J., Christoforou, P., & Arvey, R. D. (2016). Emotional mechanisms linking incivility at work to aggression and withdrawal at home: An experience-sampling study. Journal of Management. Google Scholar
- Martin, L. L., & Tesser, A. (1996a). Clarifying our thoughts. Ruminative thought: Advances in Social Cognition, 9, 189–209.Google Scholar
- Martin, L. L., & Tesser, A. (1996b). Some ruminative thoughts. Advances in social cognition, 9, 1–47.Google Scholar
- Miner, K. N., Diaz, I., Wooderson, R. L., McDonald, J. N., Smittick, A. L., & Lomeli, L. C. (2017). A workplace incivility roadmap: Identifying theoretical speedbumps and alternative routes for future research. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000093.
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2014). Mplus (version 7.3) [computer software] (pp. 1998–2014). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Pilcher, J. J., Burnett, M. L., & McCubbin, J. A. (2012). Measurement of sleep and sleepiness. In M. Wang, R. R. Sinclair, & L. Tetrick (Eds.), Research methods in occupational health psychology: Measurement, design, and data analysis (pp. 49–60). New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
- Querstret, D., Cropley, M., Kruger, P., & Heron, R. (2016). Assessing the effect of a cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)-based workshop on work-related rumination, fatigue, and sleep. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25, 50–67. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2015.1015516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rodríguez-Muñoz, A., Notelaers, G., & Moreno-Jiménez, B. (2011). Workplace bullying and sleep quality: The mediating role of worry and need for recovery. Behavioral Psychology/Psicología Conductual., 19, 453–468.Google Scholar
- Schilpzand, P., Leavitt, K., & Lim, S. (2016). Incivility hates company: Shared incivility attenuates rumination, stress, and psychological withdrawal by reducing self-blame. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 133, 33–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.02.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Scully, J. A., Tosi, H., & Banning, K. (2000). Life Event Checklists: Revisiting the Social Readjustment Rating Scale after 30 Years. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60, 864–876. https://doi.org/10.1177/00131640021970952.
- Sonnentag, S., Arbeus, H., Mahn, C., & Fritz, C. (2014). Exhaustion and lack of psychological detachment from work during off-job time: Moderator effects of time pressure and leisure experiences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19, 206–216. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035760.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sonnentag, S., Casper, A., & Pinck, A. S. (2016). Job stress and sleep. In J. Barling, C. M. Barnes, E. Carlton, & D. T. Wagner (Eds.), Work and sleep: Research insights for the workplace. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Spector, P. E., & Jex, S. M. (1998). Development of four self-report measures of job stressors and strain: Interpersonal conflict at work scale, organizational constraints scale, quantitative workload inventory, and physical symptoms inventory. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 356–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Taylor, S. G., Bedeian, A. G., Cole, M. S., & Zhang, Z. (2014). Developing and testing a dynamic model of workplace incivility change. Journal of Management. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206314535432.
- Tremmel, S., & Sonnentag, S. (2017). A sorrow halved? A daily diary study on talking about experienced workplace incivility and next-morning negative affect. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000100.
- Zhou, Z. E., Yan, Y., Che, X. X., & Meier, L. L. (2015). Effect of workplace incivility on end-of-work negative affect: Examining individual and organizational moderators in a daily diary study. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 20, 117–130. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038167.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar