Individual differences in responses to workplace stress

The contribution of attachment theory

Melissa Johnstone*, Judith A. Feeney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Work stress is a major cause of physical and psychological distress, and both theory and research highlight the importance of individual differences in coping efforts. The present research clarifies the mechanisms linking attachment insecurities (anxiety and avoidance) to maladaptive coping; specifically, we tested an integrative model assessing stress appraisals as a mediator between attachment insecurities and coping strategies, together with mediating and moderating effects of coping resources (perceived self-efficacy and social support). A community sample of 113 men and 115 women completed an online survey which incorporated a standardized vignette depicting workplace stress. The results supported stress appraisal as a mediator between attachment anxiety and less adaptive coping, and established both mediating and moderating effects of perceived coping resources. The effects support the relevance of attachment theory to the study of workplace stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-424
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Individual differences in responses to workplace stress: The contribution of attachment theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this