Identification and occupational stress: A stress-buffering perspective

C. Newton, S. Teo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Occupational stress research has consistently demonstrated many negative effects of work stressors on employee adjustment (i.e., job-related attitudes and health). Considerable literature also describes potential moderators of this relationship. While research has revealed that different workplace identifications can have significant positive effects on employee adjustment, it has neglected to investigate their potential stress-buffering effects. Based on identity theories, it was predicted that stress-buffering effects of different types of identifications (distal versus proximal) would be revealed when the identification type and employee adjustment outcome type (distal versus proximal) were congruent. Predictions were tested with an employee sample from five human service nonprofit organizations (N = 337). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that main and moderated effects relating to identification supported the notion that occupational stress would be reduced when there was congruence of distal and proximal identifications and distal and proximal outcome types. However, stress-buffering effects were also found for high identifiers and low identifiers that were not in line with hypotheses posing questions for the definitions of distal and proximal identifications. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and practical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-113
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number1
Early online date30 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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