Emotion Regulation in Response to Negative Interpersonal Events at Work

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Melloy, Robert Clay
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 14, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Alicia Grandey, Dissertation Advisor
  • Alicia Grandey, Committee Chair
  • Susan Mohammed, Committee Member
  • James Marshall Lebreton, Committee Member
  • Lance Ferris, Outside Member
  • emotion regulation
  • stress
  • workplace
  • well-being
  • latent profile analysis
To better understand how employees manage their emotions during and following negative interpersonal events (NIEs), I propose that employees flexibly regulate themselves using multiple strategies. I also propose that the choice of strategy combinations is driven by characteristics of the situation (emotional intensity, typicality, controllability, responsibility), and that strategy combinations differ in terms of their influence on employee performance and well-being. Using multilevel latent profile analysis at the event level with faculty and staff in a high-stress work context, results indicate six profiles of emotion regulation that are distinguished by a primary use of engagement or disengagement strategies, or a mix of both. Higher negative emotional intensity, controllability, and responsibility were associated with using disengagement regulation profiles, while lower typicality was associated with engagement profiles. Employees had higher supervisor-rated job performance when using multiple engagement strategies compared to using single engagement or disengagement strategies, but lower job performance self-efficacy when they did not regulate. Employees retaliated the most during times they used multiple strategies or did not regulate. The six profiles differed in terms of experienced physical symptoms but not beyond event negative emotional intensity. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and practice.