Coping styles and coping resources in the work stressors–workplace bullying relationship: A two-wave study

Whitney Van den Brande*, Elfi Baillien, Tinne Vander Elst, Hans De Witte, Lode Godderis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated coping styles and coping resources in the relationship between work stressors and exposure to workplace bullying. A two-wave survey was conducted (N = 482) to investigate whether T1 emotion-focused coping amplifies the positive lagged relationship from T1 role conflict and role ambiguity to T2 bullying. T1 problem-focused coping was predicted to buffer this relationship. Further, we expected that two coping resources–T1 self-efficacy and optimism–positively relate to T2 problem-focused coping and negatively relate to T2 emotion-focused coping. SEM analysis partially supported the hypotheses: T1 emotion-focused coping amplified the relationship between T1 role conflict and T2 bullying. However, no evidence was found for the buffering role of T1 problem-focused coping. Neither for role ambiguity, a significant moderating role of both problem- and emotion-focused coping was found. Further, T1 self-efficacy was positively related to T2 problem-focused coping, however, unrelated to T2 emotion-focused coping. T1 optimism was unrelated to T2 emotion- or problem-focused coping. This study advances our understanding of the underlying mechanisms in the relationship from work stressors to bullying, particularly highlighting the amplifying role of emotion-focused coping in the relationship between role conflict and bullying. Further, we gained insight in the relationship between self-efficacy and problem-focused coping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • coping resources
  • coping styles
  • work stressors
  • Workplace bullying


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