The crossover of self-esteem: A longitudinal perspective

Angela Neff, Sabine Sonnentag, Cornelia Niessen, Dana Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This longitudinal study examined the crossover of performance self-esteem within working couples. We focused on the long-term crossover process as well as its work-related consequences. We hypothesized that one partner’s (the actor’s) performance self-esteem relates to changes in the other partner’s (the partner’s) performance self-esteem over time, especially if the partner has a low level of baseline performance self-esteem. In a final step, we expected that the partner’s performance self-esteem at Time 2 in turn predicts the partner’s work engagement. Using a longitudinal study (time lag: 6 months) among 294 dual-earner couples, we tested our hypotheses with multilevel analyses applying the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model. The actor’s performance self-esteem at Time 1 did not directly relate to the partner’s performance self-esteem at Time 2. However, as expected, we found a significant moderation of the partner’s baseline performance self-esteem in the crossover process, indicating that especially individuals with a rather low baseline performance self-esteem are susceptible to performance self-esteem crossover. Finally, the partner’s performance self-esteem was related to the partner’s work engagement at Time 2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Crossover
  • Performance self-esteem
  • Work engagement
  • Actor–Partner Interdependence Model

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