Work-family conflict, emotional exhaustion, and displaced aggression toward others: the moderating roles of workplace interpersonal conflict and perceived managerial family support

Yihao Liu, Mo Wang, Chu-Hsiang Chang, Junqi Shi, Le Zhou, Ruodan Shao

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70 Citations (Scopus)


Taking a resource-based self-regulation perspective, this study examined afternoon emotional exhaustion as a mediator linking the within-person relations between morning work-family conflict and later employee displaced aggression in the work and family domains. In addition, it examined resource-related contextual factors as moderators of these relations. The theoretical model was tested using daily diary data from 125 employees. Data were collected at 4 time points during each workday for 3 consecutive weeks. Multilevel modeling analysis showed that morning family-to-work conflict was positively related to afternoon emotional exhaustion, which in turn predicted displaced aggression toward supervisors and coworkers in the afternoon and displaced aggression toward family members in the evening. In addition, morning workplace interpersonal conflict exacerbated the impact of morning work-to-family conflict on afternoon emotional exhaustion, whereas perceived managerial family support alleviated the impact of morning family-to-work conflict on afternoon emotional exhaustion. These findings indicate the importance of adopting a self-regulation perspective to understand work-family conflict at work and its consequences (i.e., displaced aggression) in both work and family domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-808
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Displaced aggression
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Perceived managerial family support
  • Work-family conflict
  • Workplace interpersonal conflict

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