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Self-Engagement, Stressors, And Health: A Longitudinal Study

T. Britt, C. Castro, A. Adler
Published 2005 · Psychology, Medicine

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The authors examined whether engagement in a performance domain could buffer or exacerbate the consequences of different stressors. Soldiers completed measures of engagement in work, work demands (days training, work hours, and subjective work overload), and symptoms at two time periods. Engagement in work interacted with days training and work hours at Time 1 to predict health symptoms at Time 2 (after controlling Time 1 outcomes). Soldiers highly engaged in their jobs were less likely to report negative consequences under high levels of training/work hours in comparison to soldiers disengaged from their jobs. However, engagement in work interacted with work overload in the opposite manner, with high levels of engagement potentiating the relationship between overload and reports of health symptoms. Engagement in a domain appears to buffer individuals from stressors that do not undermine performance but may exacerbate the impact of stressors that compromise performing well in the domain.
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