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Open AccessArticle

“Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda”. Workers’ Proactivity in the Association between Emotional Demands and Mental Health

1
Department of Education Studies, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20126 Milan, Italy
3
Department of Economics, University of Parma, 43125 Parma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183309
Received: 11 August 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2019)
The present study aimed to explore the mediating role of hostile customer relations in the association between emotional dissonance and workers’ mental health. Moreover, the moderating role of proactive personality as a buffer against hostile customer relations was assessed. Emotional demands become crucial within professions that involve a direct relationship with clients and, if poorly managed, can negatively affect workers’ health and performance. Accordingly, data were collected on a sample of n = 918 mass-retail employees working for one of the leading Italian supermarket companies. Most participants were women (62.7%) with a mean age = 40.38 (SD = 7.68). The results of a moderated mediation analysis revealed that emotional dissonance was related to more hostile customer relations that, in turn, were associated with higher rates of mental health symptoms. Proactive personality emerged as a protecting factor that prevented the onset of conflicts with clients, particularly among workers experiencing high levels of emotional dissonance. The identification of resources enabling management of emotional demands could suggest suitable adaptive strategies for customer-facing roles, thus preventing the occurrence of adverse mental health symptoms. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; emotional dissonance; proactivity; customer relations; emotions; retail distribution sector mental health; emotional dissonance; proactivity; customer relations; emotions; retail distribution sector
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Mazzetti, G.; Simbula, S.; Panari, C.; Guglielmi, D.; Paolucci, A. “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda”. Workers’ Proactivity in the Association between Emotional Demands and Mental Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3309.

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