Is it Better to Receive than to Give? Empathy in the Conflict-Distress Relationship
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
American Psychological Association
The article discusses the role of empathy as a particular dimension of emotional social support that has the potential to buffer or alleviate the negative spillover effect of family-work conflict on the psychological distress of job incumbents. The potential of empathy to worsen the negative crossover effects of family-work conflict on partner psychological distress is also investigated. Empathy is considered as the tendency to observe, know and be sensitive to another individual's feelings and emotions. Findings show that it was not better to give than to receive empathy but that giving and receiving it buffered the effects of work-to-family conflict on the experience of distress.
Ferguson, M., Carlson, D., Zivnuska, S., & Whitten, D. (2010). “Is it better to receive than to give? Empathy in the conflict-distress relationship.” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15: 304-315.