Challenge and hindrance stressors and wellbeing-based work–nonwork interference: A diary study of portfolio workers

Stephen J. Wood, George Michaelides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Stress-based work–nonwork interference, or negative spillover, is associated with transference of negative emotions from the work to the nonwork domain. It is argued that work–nonwork interference resulting from high work demands does not necessarily entail the reproduction of any affective states. First, calmness can result in lower work–nonwork interference and enthusiasm in higher levels. Second, hindrance stressors can be negatively related to enthusiasm and calmness, while challenge stressors are positively associated with them. Hypotheses about the relationship between stressors and interference that reflect this rationality are developed and tested using longitudinal data from a six-month diary study of portfolio workers. The results offer some support for them and indicate that both challenge and hindrance stressors are positively related to interference. However, for hindrance stressors the indirect effect is positive when mediated by calmness and negative for enthusiasm. In contrast, for challenge stressors the indirect effect is negative when mediated by calmness and positive when mediated by enthusiasm. The mediation paths are significant only for transient effects. Thus, there are indications that well-being can both increase or decrease interference depending on the nature of the stressor and whether it is mediated by calmness or enthusiasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-138
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
Early online date15 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • challenge & hindrance stressors
  • diary study
  • enthusiasm-based work–nonwork interference
  • portfolio work
  • well-being
  • work–nonwork interference

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