The moderating effects of aging and cognitive abilities on the association between work stress and negative affect

Jinshil Hyun, Martin J. Sliwinski, David M. Almeida, Joshua M. Smyth, Stacey B. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Given that the association between work stress and negative affect can exacerbate negative health and workplace outcomes, it is important to identify the protective and risk factors that moderate this association. Socioemotional aging and cognitive abilities might influence how people utilize emotion regulation skills and engage in practical problem solving to manage their work stress. The aim of this study is to examine whether age and cognitive abilities independently and interactively moderate the association between work-related stress and negative affect. Method: A diverse working adult sample (N = 139, age 25–65, 69% of females) completed a cross-sectional survey that assessed chronic work stress, negative affect, and fluid and crystallized cognitive abilities. Results: Results from regression analyses suggested that both fluid and crystallized cognitive abilities, but not age, moderated the association between work stress and negative affect. Further, we found that crystallized cognition had a stronger attenuating effect on the work stress—negative affect association for older compared to younger workers. The moderating effect of fluid cognition was invariant across age. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that cognitive abilities are an important personal resource that might protect individuals against the negative impacts of work stress and negative affect. Although the role that fluid cognition plays in work stress—negative affect association is comparably important for both younger and older workers, crystallized cognition might play a more valuable role for older than younger workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-618
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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