Gender Differences in the Use of Social Support as a Moderator of Occupational Stress

Steven Bellman, N.S. Forster, Leonie Still, C.L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of the moderating effect of social support on the direct effects of occupational stressors have yielded conflicting results that have differed in direction and significance. These differences may have been due to the narrow range and/or poor quality of the measures used. Also, males and females may differ in their perceptions of stress sources and outcomes and their use of social support across stressors. This study used the well-validated Pressure Management Indicator (PMI) to measure social support and eight sources and nine outcomes of occupational stress in a sample of 204 Australian managers (55 per cent females, mean age 41.4 years) from various companies. Multiple regression revealed that for both males and females, social support moderated the effects of stressors on energy levels, job satisfaction, organizational security and organizational commitment, although social support interacted with different stressors across genders. Social support bad a significant interaction effect on organizational commitment for males only, and, for females only, a significant interaction effect on state of mind. These results suggest that social support interventions will not reduce the effects of stress on all outcomes, and will produce different results for males and females. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
JournalStress and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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