Burnout from emotion regulation at work: The moderating role of gratitude

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Journal Article
Personality and Individual Differences, 2020, 156
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd In an increasingly service-oriented workplace, individual differences in emotion regulation (ER) and gratitude are important personal resources to cope with potentially overwhelming emotional demands. This study examined the effects of intrinsic (i.e., regulating emotions of self through reappraisal or suppression) and extrinsic (i.e., regulating emotions of others through cognitive change or response modulation) ER strategies on burnout in service relationships and the moderating role of dispositional gratitude. Survey data from 336 Australian aged care employees show that gratitude moderated the effects of extrinsic ER strategies on burnout. When employees regulated others’ emotions, gratitude as a positive resource buffered the effect of cognitive change on emotional exhaustion and the effects of response modulation on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Gratitude also strengthened the negative relationship between cognitive change and depersonalization. When employees regulated their own emotions, gratitude did not moderate the relationships between ER strategies and burnout. Our study implies that gratitude and ER strategies can be included in selection and training to enhance individual well-being and promote healthy organizations.
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