Expanding crossover research: The crossover of job-related self-efficacy within couples

Angela Neff, Cornelia Niessen, Sabine Sonnentag, Dana Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a study that examined the crossover of job-related self-efficacy within working couples, its underlying mechanisms, and its work-related consequences. We proposed that the job-related self-efficacy of one partner (the ‘actor’) can be transmitted to the other partner (the ‘partner’). By building on self-efficacy research (Bandura, 1997), we hypothesized vicarious experience and verbal persuasion to be the mediators underlying this crossover process. We expected that the crossover of job-related self-efficacy would in turn result in the partner’s altered engagement at work. Using a sample of 102 professionals with an academic degree and their working partners, we conducted multilevel analyses using the actor–partner interdependence model. Our analyses offered support for our hypotheses. The actor’s job-related self-efficacy related positively to the partner’s job-related self-efficacy. This relation was mediated by the partner’s perceived vicarious experience and verbal persuasion. Additionally, the actor’s job-related self-efficacy indirectly related to the partner’s work engagement through the partner’s job-related self-efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-827
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number6
Early online date5 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • actor–partner interdependence model
  • crossover
  • job-related self-efficacy
  • verbal persuasion
  • vicarious experience

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