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SAGE Publications

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Psychology of Women Quarterly

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We build and empirically test an integrative model of gender, workplace politics, and stress by integrating social role theory and prescriptive gender stereotypes with the transactional theory of stress. To examine the effect of gender on the relation between exposure to non-sanctioned political influence tactics (NPITs; e.g., self-serving and socially undesirable behaviors such as manipulation and intimidation) and stress outcomes, we employed a daily diary design with 64 employed adults over the course of 12 working days. In support of our hypotheses, exposure to NPITs––that is, “dirty politics”––elicited a threat appraisal that, in turn, related to the activation of negative emotions. Moreover, unlike men, women who reported higher levels of NPITs experienced heightened levels of threat appraisal and ultimately negative emotions. We demonstrate that pairing social role theory with the transactional theory of stress is a useful approach for researchers interested in better understanding gender differences in the occupational stress process. Anyone interested in reducing stress in the workplace is encouraged not only to reduce the occurrence of NPITs, but also to consider ways to reduce the threat associated with them, especially for women.


Accepted version. Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 3 (September 1, 2018): 361-377. DOI. © 2018 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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