Document Type


Publication Date



Management Communication Quarterly


Workers regularly report high levels of stress and burnout because of their daily interactions at work. Workers also tend to seek social support as a mechanism to reduce stress and burnout. Social support buffers the negative effects of stress on health-related outcomes and is inversely associated with both burnout and perceived stress. However, recent research has revealed that not all social support is beneficial. Co-rumination, or excessive negative problem talk about an issue, has been linked to increasing levels of stress and burnout. Working adults (N = 447) completed a survey exploring the relationships between social support, co-rumination, stress, and burnout. Two mediation models predicted that co-rumination would suppress the relationships between social support and both burnout and perceived stress. Data supported both partial mediation hypotheses. This study concludes that some social support can be less-than-beneficial, if the content of the supportive transaction focuses on excessive and negative problem talk.


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