Workplace Incivility and Employee Sleep: The Role of Rumination and Recovery Experiences

Caitlin A. Demsky, Charlotte Fritz, Leslie B. Hammer, Anne E. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


This study examines the role of negative work rumination and recovery experiences in explaining the association between workplace incivility and employee insomnia symptoms. Drawing on the perseverative cognition model of stress and the effort-recovery model, we hypothesize a moderated mediation model in which workplace incivility is associated with insomnia symptoms via negative work rumination. This indirect effect is proposed to be conditional on employees' reported level of recovery experiences (i.e., psychological detachment from work and relaxation during nonwork time). In examining this model, we further establish a link between workplace incivility and sleep and identify one pathway to explain this relationship, as well as resources that may be used to halt the negative spillover of workplace incivility on sleep. Based on a sample of 699 U.S. Forest Service employees, we find support for a moderated mediation model in which the association between workplace incivility and increased insomnia symptoms via increased negative work rumination was weakest for employees reporting high levels of recovery experiences during nonwork time. Findings from the current study contribute to our understanding of why workplace incivility is associated with nonwork outcomes, as well as point to implications for interventions aimed at promoting employees' recovery from work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-240
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019



  • Negative work rumination
  • Psychological detachment
  • Relaxation
  • Sleep quality
  • Workplace incivility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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