This project represents a replication of Russ, Simonds, and Hunt’s (2002) project that explored the influence of instructor sexual orientation disclosure on perceptions of teacher credibility and learning. Our purpose was to see if the original findings—that students perceive gay teachers as less credible and that they learn less than from a straight teacher—could be replicated in a sample of students from a different location and after more than 15 years from the original study. Employing a quasi-experimental methodology, we did not find the same result as they did: gay instructors were not rated lower in credibility and learning by the students in our sample. We provide some context and discussion around why this might be the case.
A rich literature exists reinforcing the notion that both perceived and received social support has stress ameliorating and protective benefits both psychologically and physiologically. However, recent literature suggests that excessive dyadic negative problem talk about an issue, a phenomenon labeled co-rumination, may reverse much of the beneficial effects of social support. Healthy young adults participated in a laboratory research study exploring the associations between co-rumination and immune system inflammatory response. Partial correlations indicated a positive association between co-rumination and C-reactive protein and a negative association between co-rumination and interleukin-6 after controlling for stress, anxiety, and temperature. Discussion focuses on the means by which co-rumination may lead to negative health outcomes.
In this article, we operationalize Communicatively Restricted Organizational Stress (CROS). CROS is a new variable previously conceptualized as a perceived inability to communicate about a particular stressor within an organizational context and operationalized as having two dimensions of prevalence and distress. The present investigation presents data from two studies (total N = 918) aimed at developing and validating a measure of CROS. In Study 1, we generated and tested a series of items intended to tap into the dual dimensions of CROS with currently employed organizational members (n = 373). In Study 2, we collected a second sample (n = 545) and confirmed the factor structure of the measure identified in Study 1. We present evidence of reliability, content validity, and construct validity. The final result is a two-dimensional measure of CROS we call the CROS-14. Our discussion includes information on implementation, scoring, and potential future applications of the CROS-14.
Women generally perform the majority of domestic labor despite changes in demographics and household income allocations, contributing to relational conflict and prompting the use of communication strategies to reallocate tasks. This study examines the strategies individuals use to reduce personal or increase partner domestic labor performance. Married individuals (N = 228) responded to a questionnaire assessing perception of hours spent on household tasks, global equity, relationship length, and equity-restoring and equity-resistance strategies specific to domestic labor. Data indicate that perception of time spent on household tasks is related to equity-restoring and equity-resistance strategies. Global assessment of relational underbenefitedness or overbenefitedness was not associated with equity-restoring and equity-resisting strategies when characterized as a continuous variable; however, significant results occurred when equity was characterized categorically, highlighting the importance of methodological choices in equity research. Marriage length was negatively associated in a curvilinear function with the use of equity-restoring and equity-resistance strategies.
In this article, we conceptualized a new organizational variable, Communicatively Restricted Organizational Stress (CROS). CROS is a perceived inability to communicate about a particular stressor and functions to exacerbate negative outcomes related to the appraisal of that stressor. To aid in our conceptualization, we reviewed extant literature on organizational stress and social support. We also collected open-ended data from a national sample of 354 workers. The responses to these questions lead us to specific themes about the nature and function of CROS. Finally, we propose a conceptual conditional process model with two primary propositions: (a) An organizational member who reports high levels of CROS will experience negative outcomes, regardless of reported level of social support and (b) an organizational member who reports high levels of CROS will experience negative outcomes, regardless of the severity of the stressor.
Workers regularly report high levels of stress and burnout because of their daily interactions at work. They also tend to seek social support as a mechanism to reduce stress and burnout. Social support buffers the negative effects of stress on health-related outcomes and is inversely associated with burnout and perceived stress. However, recent research has revealed that not all social support is beneficial. Co-rumination, or excessive negative problem talk about an issue, has been linked to increasing levels of stress and burnout. Working adults (N = 447) completed a survey exploring the relationships between social support, co-rumination, stress, and burnout. Two mediation models predicted that co-rumination would suppress the relationships between social support and both burnout and perceived stress. Data supported both partial mediation hypotheses. This study concludes that some social support can be less-than-beneficial, if the content of the supportive transaction focuses on excessive and negative problem talk.
The communication of affection in close relationships has been linked empirically to multiple physical and mental health benefits that are attributable largely to its stress-alleviating effects. Because affectionate communication frequently involves tactile contact of an intimate nature, however, it may also elevate vulnerability to opportunistic illness and infection, increasing the chances for immune system suppression. Using a sample of 52 healthy adults in cohabiting romantic relationships who were seropositive for latent human herpesvirus-4 (also known as the Epstein-Barr virus), the present study documented that self-reported trait expressed affection predicts antibody titers to Epstein-Barr virus viral capsid antigen complex, indicating viral replication and suppressed cell-mediated immunity.
This study sought to determine if frequency of peer resentment messages overheard in organizational settings was associated with employees’ perceived ability to use work/family policies. Job burnout and state guilt were also included as potential predictors. In this sample of workers (N = 474), resentment messages, internalized guilt, and burnout were significantly and negatively associated with the likelihood of using work/family policies, accounting for 22% of the variance. An interaction effect was also discovered for burnout and resentment on perceived ability to use work/family policies. This study highlights the importance of understanding the messages embedded within an organization’s culture and those messages’ impacts on individual decisions to make use of leave policies.
Graduate students regularly report high levels of stress and burnout. Many of those same students utilize social support networks, which can act as stress buffers. This study evaluated excessive negative talk about issues (co-rumination) and its effects on that social support-to-burnout (emotional exhaustion) relationship and predicted that co-rumination would act as a suppressor variable. Graduate student volunteers (N = 213) reported their levels of social support, co-rumination, and emotional exhaustion. Data indicated that co-rumination did mediate the social support-to-emotional exhaustion relationship on 2 dimensions. This project purports that, although social support is important, the content of socially supportive interactions may also be important when attempting to intervene in stressful situations, especially when those interactions involve co-ruminative messages.
Affection exchange theory and previous research suggest that affectionate behavior has stress-ameliorating effects. On this basis, we hypothesized that increasing affectionate behavior would effect improvements in physical and psychological conditions known to be exacerbated by stress. This study tested this proposition by examining the effects of increased romantic kissing on blood lipids, perceived stress, depression, and relationship satisfaction. Fifty-two healthy adults who were in marital or cohabiting romantic relationships provided self-report data for psychological outcomes and blood samples for hematological tests, and were then randomly assigned to experimental and control groups for a 6-week trial. Those in the experimental group were instructed to increase the frequency of romantic kissing in their relationships; those in the control group received no such instructions. After 6 weeks, psychological and hematological tests were repeated. Relative to the control group, the experimental group experienced improvements in perceived stress, relationship satisfaction, and total serum cholesterol.
Prior research has not conclusively established how individuals’ social exchange orientation (EO) affects their communication in, and satisfaction with, romantic relationships. Surveying 466 individuals in romantic relationships, we found that concern about being underbenefitted was more strongly correlated with conflict behaviors than concern about overbenefittedness, and that conflict communication influenced the relationship between exchange orientation and relationship satisfaction. We discuss the need for further research to discover how EO may influence communication patterns as relationships develop.