Workplace Deviance as a Possible “Maladaptive Coping” Behavior Displayed in Association with Workplace Stressors

Helen M. Hendy, Salih Hakan Can, Pamela Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Threat Appraisal and Coping Theory suggests that in response to environmental stressors, individuals sometimes display “maladaptive coping” behaviors that may vent frustration immediately but worsen later psychosocial well-being. For example, employees exposed to workplace stressors may vent their frustration with workplace deviance including intentional poor performance, abuse of organizational resources, disrespect, and disruption of co-workers, but such workplace deviance may worsen their later psychological well-being. The present study examined workplace deviance as a possible “maladaptive coping” behavior displayed by 293 university employees (74.7% female; 90.4% White; mean age = 45.8 years; 43 administrators, 127 staff, 84 faculty). When three workplace stressors (high demand, low control, low support) were compared for their association with workplace deviance, only low support was significant. Furthermore, workplace deviance was significantly associated with negative psychosocial outcomes [poor self-esteem, health concerns, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, poor job satisfaction, work-home conflict]. Finally, bootstrapping mediational analysis revealed that workplace deviance was a significant mediator between low support and each of the negative psychosocial outcomes. Results support the idea that workplace deviance is an example of “maladaptive coping” behavior that, when displayed in response to perceptions of low support from supervisors and co-workers, is associated with worse psychosocial outcomes for employees who display it. Stress reduction programs could educate employees that displaying workplace deviance in response to workplace stressors may harm their psychosocial well-being. Such programs could also guide employees to more “adaptive coping” behaviors in response to workplace stressors (such as seeking social support, exercise, and yoga).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-798
Number of pages8
JournalDeviant Behavior
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Fingerprint

coping behavior
Psychological Adaptation
deviant behavior
Workplace
workplace
employee
Frustration
well-being
co-worker
frustration
female employee
Yoga
Job Satisfaction
Anger
posttraumatic stress disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Administrative Personnel
job satisfaction
anger
Self Concept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

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title = "Workplace Deviance as a Possible “Maladaptive Coping” Behavior Displayed in Association with Workplace Stressors",
abstract = "The Threat Appraisal and Coping Theory suggests that in response to environmental stressors, individuals sometimes display “maladaptive coping” behaviors that may vent frustration immediately but worsen later psychosocial well-being. For example, employees exposed to workplace stressors may vent their frustration with workplace deviance including intentional poor performance, abuse of organizational resources, disrespect, and disruption of co-workers, but such workplace deviance may worsen their later psychological well-being. The present study examined workplace deviance as a possible “maladaptive coping” behavior displayed by 293 university employees (74.7{\%} female; 90.4{\%} White; mean age = 45.8 years; 43 administrators, 127 staff, 84 faculty). When three workplace stressors (high demand, low control, low support) were compared for their association with workplace deviance, only low support was significant. Furthermore, workplace deviance was significantly associated with negative psychosocial outcomes [poor self-esteem, health concerns, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, poor job satisfaction, work-home conflict]. Finally, bootstrapping mediational analysis revealed that workplace deviance was a significant mediator between low support and each of the negative psychosocial outcomes. Results support the idea that workplace deviance is an example of “maladaptive coping” behavior that, when displayed in response to perceptions of low support from supervisors and co-workers, is associated with worse psychosocial outcomes for employees who display it. Stress reduction programs could educate employees that displaying workplace deviance in response to workplace stressors may harm their psychosocial well-being. Such programs could also guide employees to more “adaptive coping” behaviors in response to workplace stressors (such as seeking social support, exercise, and yoga).",
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Workplace Deviance as a Possible “Maladaptive Coping” Behavior Displayed in Association with Workplace Stressors. / Hendy, Helen M.; Can, Salih Hakan; Black, Pamela.

In: Deviant Behavior, Vol. 40, No. 7, 03.07.2019, p. 791-798.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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