Coping, negative affectivity, and the work environment: additive and interactive predictors of mental health.
The present study tested the hypothesis that direct coping would moderate relations between work stress and mental health outcome, whereas suppression (a form of emotion-focused coping) would show an overall effect on outcome. Data on coping, perceived work demand and support, and affective symptoms were obtained from trainee teachers (N = 157). The results supported the hypothesis. Gender differences also were observed; men reported more use of suppression than did women. In addition, negative affectivity (NA) was examined as a confounding variable and as an index of reactivity in stress-outcome relations. NA acted to inflate associations between work perceptions and affective symptoms, but it was also a significant moderator variable; high NA subjects showed greater reactivity to work demand than did low NA subjects.