The older the better?: age-related differences in emotion regulation after psychological contract breach

Bal, P. Matthijs and Smit, Priscilla (2012) The older the better?: age-related differences in emotion regulation after psychological contract breach. Career Development International, 17 (1). pp. 6-24. ISSN 1362-0436

Bal_Smit_2012_CDI_WORD.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Purpose: The aim of this paper was to investigate the role of emotion regulation and age in reactions to psychological contract breach towards positive and negative affect. We expected that in the context of contract breach, reappraisal emotion regulation mitigate the negative relation with affect. Moreover, based on lifespan theory, suppression emotion regulation was expected to be important for younger workers, because older workers have learned how to express themselves appropriately at the workplace. Consequently, suppression would mitigate the relations of contract breach with well-being only among younger workers, while it strengthened the relation for older workers.
Design: Data were collected among 163 employees working in various Dutch organizations. Moderated regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses.
Findings: Reappraisal mitigated the relation of contract breach with positive affect, and suppression mitigated the relations of contract breach with positive affect only among younger workers, while for older workers with high suppression the relations were accentuated. We also found that contract breach was more strongly related to negative affect for younger workers than for older workers.
Research Implications: Reactions towards psychological contract breaches are influenced by the emotion regulation strategies people employ. Especially reappraisal is important to maintain optimal levels of affect, while suppression is detrimental especially for older workers.
Originality/value: This paper is the first study in which emotion regulation strategies are investigated in the context of psychological contract breaches. The paper presents novel
insights into how reactions to contract breaches are modified through emotion regulation strategies and age.

Keywords:age, Older Workers, Psychological Contract Breach, Coping
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:24792
Deposited On:28 Dec 2016 21:08

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