+1443 776-2705 panelessays@gmail.com

 

Note: This is an annotated bibliography assignment, you can only to use four resources that I provided in this assignment. Two pages double spaced.

EACH SOURCE: HALF A PAGE ANNOTATION 

For this assignment, you will need to write annotated bibliographies for each of your sources. If you are unsure what an annotated bibliography is, it’s more or less an abstract or summary of what the source is about. There are plenty of examples online if you want to check out formatting. I’m not too concerned about that, though. This isn’t the Reference List for your paper, so you don’t need to be too formal.

the list of the four sources is in the word document attached 

the 3 pdf files contain the three first sources as listed in the word doc. 

the fourth one has a link so you will just copy and paste the link to see the article- ON THIS ONE, SPECIFICALLY YOU ARE ANNOTATING CHAPTER: ON Conflict in Relationships

Social Behavior and Personality , Volume 48, Issue 11, e9120
https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9120
www.sbp-journal.com

Influence of relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers on
employees’ voice

Siyuan Chen1, Mingyu Zhang1, Yihua Zhang2, Wen Wu1, Zhimin Xiao3, Shaoxue Wu4, Pan Liu1, Yuhuan
Xia1

1School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, People’s Republic of China
2Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University, United States
3School of International Trade and Economics, University of International Business and Economics, People’s Republic of China
4Beijing Shiquan Consulting Company, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

How to cite: Chen, S., Zhang, M., Zhang, Y., Wu, W., Xiao, Z., Wu, S., Liu, P., & Xia, Y. (2020). Influence of relationship conflicts with
leaders and coworkers on employees’ voice. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(11), e9120

Building on self-determination theory and relational attribution theory,
in this study we examined how relationship conflicts with leaders and
coworkers simultaneously affect employee voice behaviors. We
expanded relational attribution theory by developing two new
constructs we labeled leader-relational attribution orientation and
coworker-relational attribution orientation to describe employees’
different responses to relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers
via psychological needs satisfaction. We surveyed 328 employee–leader
dyads who were employed at a semiconductor manufacturer to test our
hypotheses. We found that leader-relational attribution orientation can
strengthen the influences of relationship conflicts with leaders on
psychological needs satisfaction and its indirect effects on employee
voice behaviors. Coworker-relational attribution orientation can
strengthen the influences of relationship conflicts with coworkers on
psychological needs satisfaction and its indirect effects on employee
voice behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords
supportive voice;
constructive voice;
destructive voice;
attribution orientation;
psychological needs
satisfaction; relationship
conflicts

Relationship conflict refers to the perception of incompatibilities and disagreements among organizational
members regarding issues that are not task-related, for instance, political beliefs, norms and values, or
gossip (De Dreu & Van Vianen, 2001). In some studies, findings have shown that relationship conflict can
disrupt groups’ effective functioning and employees’ psychological well-being (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003;
Jehn, 1995). Researchers have explored some factors leading to relationship conflict and how to prevent it
from happening (Edmondson & Smith, 2006). However, no studies have included relationship conflicts
with leaders and coworkers in one empirical investigation. Consequently, few empirical studies have been
conducted to test whether one type of relationship conflict remains a significant factor when controlling for
the other. Organizational researchers have not developed an integrated conceptual framework to explore the
influences of relationship conflicts with both leaders and coworkers on focal employee voice behaviors.

Voice behavior, the expression of constructive opinions, concerns, or ideas about work-related issues (Van
Dyne et al., 2003) plays a significant role in the running and effectiveness of an organization (Organ et al.,
2006). Some researchers have explored the antecedents of employee voice behavior at the individual,
supervisory, or organizational levels (Fuller et al., 2007; Liang et al., 2012; W. Liu et al., 2010; Van Dyne et
al., 2008). In the current study, we explore the influence of relationship conflict on employees’ voice

CORRESPONDENCE Wen Wu, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, No. 3 Shangyuancun, Beijing
100044, People’s Republic of China. Email: [email protected] or Zhimin Xiao, School of International Trade and Economics,
University of International Business and Economics, No. 10, Huxin Dongjie, Beijing, 100029, People’s Republic of China. Email:
[email protected]

© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Chen, Zhang, Zhang, Wu, Xiao, Wu, Liu, Xia

behavior.

We develop a framework based on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and relational attribution
theory (Eberly et al., 2011) to examine how relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers affect
employee voice behaviors, including supportive voice, destructive voice, and constructive voice. We argue
that relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers can hinder the satisfaction of psychological needs,
which, in turn, influences employee voice behaviors. For example, relationship conflict can induce a
coworker to refuse to provide information. We further propose that such relationships depend on the focal
employee’s relational attributions of relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers. Eberly et al. (2011)
proposed a new set of relational attributions, defined as the focal employee’s acknowledgment of an event in
a relationship. They suggested that individuals might attribute the causes of events to their relationships
with others. Relationship attribution orientation is individuals’ explanations that locate their success in
their organization within their relationship with others. We argue that individuals may differ in this
tendency, attributing success in their organization to their relationships with leaders or with coworkers, and
these attributions may influence their experiences and expectations (Eberly et al., 2011). Specifically, leader-
relational attribution orientation describes explanations given by a focal individual that locate the success
of that individual in the organization within their relationship with their immediate leader, and coworker-
relational attribution orientation describes explanations given by a focal individual that locate the success
of that individual in the organization within their relationship with their coworkers.

Theory and Hypotheses
Deci and Ryan (2000) posited that three innate basic psychological needs affect individuals’ attitudes,
motivation, and behaviors, namely, autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Need for autonomy refers to
the desire to be “the perceived origin or source of one’s own behavior” (Deci & Ryan, 2000, p. 8) or to
endorse one’s actions as authentic and consistent with how one would act regardless of external influences.
Need for competence refers to the desire to feel effective in one’s activities and to interact with an
environment that supports the expression of one’s abilities. Need for relatedness refers to the desire to
experience a sense of belonging or connectedness, or to be valued by other individuals or collectives (Rosen
et al., 2014). Everyone is assumed to have these innate needs (Baard et al., 2004). Psychological needs
satisfaction is the basis of linking social context (e.g., relationship building and information seeking) to
individual growth and well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) is one of the most influential perspectives for explaining
employees’ behaviors. It explains how psychological needs satisfaction strengthens and promotes the
internalization of external motivation, and ultimately affects people’s attitudes and behaviors (Deci et al.,
1989). Factors that can fulfill individual psychological needs promote intrinsic motivation and personal
growth, whereas factors that impede an individual’s psychological needs thwart intrinsic motivation
(Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009).

We contend that the motivational routes to individual behavior could be explained through social
determination theory. We focus on the mediating roles of psychological needs satisfaction between
relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers, and the employee voice behaviors of supportive voice,
destructive voice, and constructive voice. Figure 1 illustrates the conceptual model of this study.

2© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Figure 1. Conceptual Model
Note. T1, T2, and T3 refer to the three data collection waves. Sub = subordinate, Sup = supervisor,
indicating from whom data were collected.

Relationship Conflicts and Psychological Needs Satisfaction

On the basis of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), we established that relationship conflicts
with both leaders and coworkers could hinder the focal employees’ three psychological needs. In
relationship conflicts with leaders, employees will not be encouraged to take on challenging and meaningful
tasks through close communication (Erdogan & Liden, 2002).

Deci and Ryan (2000) suggested that the human need for autonomy could be satisfied by making choices
and fulfilling meaningful requests. Thus, high levels of relationship conflict with leaders impede the focal
employees’ autonomy need. Moreover, in relationship conflicts of members with their leaders, leaders tend
not to offer the members rewards, such as resource allocation and personal development (Bolino & Turnley,
2009), which are instrumental for fulfilling employees’ intrinsic and extrinsic needs. The poor career
development and negative evaluation arising from employees’ relationship conflicts with leaders may signal
to the employees that they are not valued or respected. This perception impedes their sense of efficacy and
self-enhancement. In the case of leader relationship conflicts with employees, the leader might not
encourage employees to question the existing ways of solving problems (Hetland et al., 2011). Finally, the
poor mutual reciprocation that embodies relationship conflicts with leaders results in weak employee
affective attachment to leaders (Ferris et al., 2009), and lack of in-group membership and group
interconnectivity (Nifadkar et al., 2012). These outcomes can hinder the satisfying of the need for
relatedness. Relationship conflicts with coworkers signify that coworkers do not have strong bonds with one
another (Kim et al., 2017). They treat each other with a lack of respect and autonomy (Sherony & Green,
2002; Van den Broeck et al., 2008). Thus, we concluded that if focal employees had relationship conflicts
with their coworkers, this could lower the focal employees’ psychological needs satisfaction.

Psychological Needs Satisfaction and Employee Voice Behaviors

3© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Chen, Zhang, Zhang, Wu, Xiao, Wu, Liu, Xia

When employees satisfy their needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence, they tend to have a
favorable job attitude and perform well (Gagné & Deci, 2005). In self-determination theory it is proposed
that satisfying these needs can improve employees’ intrinsic motivation, which gives them a sense of
satisfaction from performing their work tasks (Gagné & Deci, 2005). Specifically, autonomy means that
individuals can make choices freely and based on a full understanding of the relevant information (Deci &
Ryan, 2000). Hill et al. (2014) found that employees express their values and interests through their work
when they can make decisions. Employee voice is an important proactive behavior that can help leaders
make the right decisions and that benefits the organization.

Supportive voice is employees’ voluntary expression of support for worthwhile work-related policies,
programs, objectives, procedures, or speaking out in defense of these behaviors when they are being unfairly
criticized (Maynes & Podsakoff, 2013). According to the self-determination perspective, employees whose
psychological needs for competence are satisfied are likely to be intrinsically motivated. Such intrinsic
motivation may promote extrarole behaviors, such as supportive voice (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Hence,
psychological needs satisfaction is likely to predict supportive voice.

Constructive voice refers to the voluntary expression of ideas, information, or opinions focused on effecting
organizationally functional change to the work context. (Maynes & Podsakoff, 2013). Satisfying the
psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness denotes that employees can strive to meet
challenges, and to achieve success and satisfactory results (Baard et al., 2004; Deci & Ryan, 2000). As such,
employees whose psychological needs are satisfied are likely to suggest improvements to enhance
organizational performance.

Destructive voice is the voluntary expression of hurtful, critical, or debasing opinions regarding work
policies, practices, and procedures (Maynes & Podsakoff, 2013). According to self-determination theory, if
employees’ basic psychological needs are not satisfied, they may lack intrinsic motivation to control their
negative attitudes and behaviors that may harm the organization (Gagné & Deci, 2005). Thus, psychological
needs satisfaction may be negatively related to destructive voice.

Satisfying the three basic psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence can promote
employees’ intrinsic motivation and facilitate positive work attitudes and voice behaviors (Gagné & Deci,
2005). Accordingly, based on self-determination theory, we proposed that relationship conflicts with leaders
and coworkers would hinder individual employees’ satisfying their psychological needs and, in turn, would
increase their destructive voice, and would reduce their constructive voice and supportive voice. Specifically,
we predicted the following:
Hypothesis 1a: Relationship conflicts with leaders have a significant negative effect on employee
constructive voice through psychological needs satisfaction.
Hypothesis 1b: Relationship conflicts with leaders have a positive influence on destructive voice through
psychological needs satisfaction.
Hypothesis 1c: Relationship conflicts with leaders will have a significant negative effect on employee
supportive voice through psychological needs satisfaction.
Hypothesis 2a: Relationship conflicts with coworkers will exert a significant negative influence on
employee constructive voice through psychological needs satisfaction.
Hypothesis 2b: Relationship conflicts with coworkers will exert a positive influence on employee
destructive voice through psychological needs satisfaction.
Hypothesis 2c: Relationship conflicts with coworkers will exert a significant negative influence on
employee supportive voice through psychological needs satisfaction.

Relational Attribution Theory

Both relational attribution theory (Eberly et al., 2011) and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985),
emphasize individual differences in work outcomes, depending on social context. Individual attributions

4© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

about the causes of events affect one’s feelings and expectations (Tomlinson & Mayer, 2009). We further
maintained that employees’ attribution orientation of workplace life may moderate the influence of
relationship conflicts on their psychological needs satisfaction. In Hypothesis 1 we predicted that
relationship conflicts with leaders would hinder employees’ psychological needs for competency,
relatedness, and autonomy. When employees interpret conflicts with leaders as hindering workplace
success, they may believe that bad relationships will provide poor benefits, resources, and support.

In contrast, when employees believe that relationship conflicts with leaders are not important in the
workplace, they may also believe that relationship conflicts with leaders cannot bring about a critical lack of
resources (e.g., promotion, competence, relatedness) to hinder their psychological needs. Satisfaction of
psychological needs is then less contingent on the presence or absence of relationship conflict with leaders.
Therefore, we contended that the relationship between relationship conflicts with leaders and psychological
needs satisfaction can be accentuated by employees’ leader-relational attributions:
Hypothesis3a: The relationship between relationship conflicts with leaders and employees’ psychological
needs satisfaction will be strengthened by the employees’ leader-relational attribution orientations: The
relationship will be stronger when employees’ leader-relational attribution orientation is higher rather than
lower.

Likewise, when employees attribute work-related success to their relationships with coworkers, they may
believe that relationship conflicts with coworkers will hinder them in satisfying competence, relatedness,
and autonomy needs. In other words, with other conditions being equal, the influence of relationship
conflicts with coworkers on employees’ psychological needs can be strengthened when the employees have
high coworker-relational attribution orientation:
Hypothesis 3b: The relationship between relationship conflicts with coworkers and employees’
psychological needs satisfaction will be strengthened by the employees’ coworker-relational attribution
orientations: The relationship will be stronger when employees’ coworker-relational attribution orientations
are higher rather than lower.

An Integrative Moderated Mediation Model

As previously discussed, relationship conflicts with leaders and with coworkers both influence employee
voice behaviors through the mediating role of psychological needs satisfaction. When employees have strong
leader-relational attribution orientation (LRAO), they may believe that their career will be improved via
relationship conflicts with their leader. In the previous hypotheses we suggested that by augmenting
relationship conflicts with leaders and psychological needs satisfaction, employees’ LRAO affect the degree
to which relationship conflicts with the leader influence employee voice behaviors. Similarly, employees’
coworker-relational attribution orientations (CRAO) may moderate the influence of relationship conflicts
with coworkers on employee voice behaviors and thus may change the indirect effect of relationship
conflicts with coworkers on employee voice behaviors via psychological needs satisfaction. We therefore
made two moderated mediation predictions:
Hypothesis 3c: Employees’ leader-relational attribution orientations will moderate the indirect effect of
relationship conflicts with leaders and employee voice behaviors via psychological needs satisfaction: The
indirect effect will be stronger when employees’ leader-relational attribution orientations are higher rather
than lower.
Hypothesis 3d: Employees’ coworker-relational attribution orientations will moderate the indirect effect
of relationship conflicts with coworkers and employee voice behaviors via psychological needs satisfaction:
The indirect effect will be stronger when employees’ coworker-relational attribution orientations are higher
rather than lower.

Pilot Study
In differentiating and validating items of LRAO and CRAO, we used theoretical evidence as our deductive

5© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Chen, Zhang, Zhang, Wu, Xiao, Wu, Liu, Xia

item-generation approach (Hinkin, 1998). Based on the definition of relational attribution, we generated
items using two sources. First, we directly generated items in line with this definition, using concise
sentences to describe employee behaviors that fell into our two categories of relational attributions. Second,
we referred to measures used in existing studies on relational attribution for our item pool (Tomlinson &
Mayer, 2009). Thus, we identified 16 items for LRAO and CRAO. After removing redundant items, three
subject-matter experts matched the items to the definitions of LRAO and CRAO. From carrying out this
procedure, we identified five representative items for LRAO and five for CRAO, which we used for pilot
testing.

To test our items of LRAO and CRAO, we distributed a survey form including potential items of relational
attribution orientation, to 322 employees of a large bank in China via WeChat, a popular social media
platform in China. Participation was voluntary, and 236 respondents completed the survey. In the final
sample, 53.8% of respondents were men and 46.2% were women (Mage = 38.39 years, SD = 8.72, ranging
from 26 to 53 years; 84.75% had a bachelor’s degree or above, and 15.25% had a college education). Items
are set out in Table 1 and were rated by employees on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (completely
disagree) and 5 (completely agree).

Then, we conducted a factor analysis with the Oblimin method. We performed principal component
analysis. The rotation method was Oblimin with Kaiser normalization, and the rotation converged in four
iterations. The results showed a distinction between LRAO and CRAO. No item had heavy cross-loadings, so
that the LRAO factor consisted of five items, and all five emphasized relationship quality with leaders. The
CRAO factor also consisted of five items, and all five emphasized relationship quality with coworkers. Table
1 shows the pattern matrix using the oblimin method.

Table 1. Pattern Matrix of the Factor Analysis by the Oblimin Method

Main Study
Sample and Procedure

We recruited participants for the main study from one private semiconductor manufacturer whose research
and development center is in China, and whose products are sold locally and abroad. We used a three-wave,
two-source survey method. The general managers notified potential respondents that the academic survey
was voluntary. We randomly selected one employee from each work team. We received emails from 745

6© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

employees, giving consent to participate together with their employee identification number.

Among the group of employees 58.53% were men, and 41.47% were women. The average age of the
employees was 35.46 years (ranging from 24 to 47, SD = 4.76). In terms of position held, 93% were workers
at grass-roots level, 7% were in low management positions. As regards education level, 68.79% had a
bachelor degree or higher qualification, the rest had a college education. Among the group, 63.57% had
worked for the company for more than 7 years, and the remaining 36.43% had less than 7 years’ tenure. At
Time 1, we asked the employees to report on relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers, and control
variables. We distributed pencils and survey forms, along with a cover letter assuring confidentiality, to the
participants. After finishing the survey the respondents gave them directly to the research team. At Time 2,
which was four weeks later, we asked employees to rate their psychological needs satisfaction and their
LRAO and CRAO. At Time 3, which was four weeks after Time 2, we distributed a survey to the participants’
supervisors of participants at Times 1 and 2, using a list provided by the company’s human resources
department, asking the supervisors to rate the participants’ employee voice behaviors.

At Time 1, we gave survey forms to 745 employees, and 601 were completed (80.67%). At Time 2, we gave
survey forms to 601 employees, and 482 were completed (80.20%). At Time 3, we distributed 481
supervisor survey forms, and 371 were completed (77.13%). In the end, we had 328 matched supervisor-
subordinate dyads for analysis.

Measures

Relationship Conflict
We asked employees to evaluate their relationship conflicts with their immediate supervisor and coworkers
using four items adapted from the scale developed by Jehn (1995). The sample items include “How much
friction is there between you and your immediate supervisor?” Employees rated the items on a 5-point
Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all), to 5 (very frequently).

Psychological Needs Satisfaction
We used the 21-item scale developed by Kasser et al. (1992) to measure psychological needs satisfaction.
Employees rated the items on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (completely disagree) to 5 (completely
agree). Sample items include “Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from working,” and “I feel like I
can pretty much be myself at work.” In accordance with previous research (Rosen et al., 2014) and from the
theoretical perspective, we viewed need satisfaction as an overall index rather than as separate need
satisfaction categories. We did not expect relationship conflicts with leaders and coworkers to differ in terms
of their relationship to autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Similarly, we did not expect every need to
relate differentially to employee outcomes.

Constructive Voice
Constructive voice was measured using Maynes and Podsakoff’s (2013) five-item instrument. Leaders rated
the items for each type of voice on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (completely disagree) to 5
(completely agree). Sample items for constructive voice are “This employee frequently makes suggestions
about how to do things in new or more effective ways at work,” and “This employee often suggests changes
to work projects in order to make them better.”

Destructive Voice
The five-item scale from Maynes and Podsakoff (2013) was employed to measure employee destructive voice
behavior. A sample item is “This employee often bad-mouths the organization’s policies or objectives.”

Supportive Voice
The five-item scale developed by Maynes and Podsakoff (2013) was used to measure employee supportive
voice. The sample items include “This employee defends organizational programs that are worthwhile when

7© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Chen, Zhang, Zhang, Wu, Xiao, Wu, Liu, Xia

others unfairly criticize the programs.”

Leader-Relational Attribution Orientation and Coworker-Relational Attribution Orientation
Employees’ LRAO and CRAO were measured with the items developed in the pilot study.

Results
Table 2 shows the descriptive statistics, reliabilities, and correlations for the study variables.

Table 2. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations of Study Variables

Note. N = 328; reliabilities are in italics on the diagonal. Gender was measured using two categories: 1 =
male, and 2 = female. Level of education was measured using four categories: 1 = below college, 2 = college, 3
= postgraduate, and 4 = doctorate. Position in the organization was measured using four categories: 1 =
employee, 2 = supervisor, 3 = middle manager, and 4 = senior manager. Organizational tenure was measured
with four categories: 1 = less than 5 years, 2 = 5–10 years, 3 = 11–15 years, and 4 = more than 15 years. LRAO
= leader-relational attribution orientation, CRAO = coworker-relational attribution orientation.
* p < .05. ** p < .01 (two-tailed).

Mediation Effects of Psychological Needs Satisfaction

We conducted hierarchical multiple regression analyses to test Hypotheses 1a, 1b, 1c and 2a, 2b, 2c by
separately entering the control variables, independent variables (relationship conflicts with leaders and
coworkers), and the mediator (psychological needs satisfaction). Model 1 in Table 3 indicates that
relationship conflicts with leaders and with coworkers were both significantly related to psychological needs
satisfaction. As shown by the results of Model 4, Model 7, and Model 10, relationship conflicts with leaders
and with coworkers were both significantly related to supportive voice, destructive voice, and constructive
voice. Model 5, Model 8, and Model 11 further revealed that psychological needs satisfaction was
significantly related to supportive, destructive, and constructive voice, and that the effects of relationship
conflicts with leaders and with coworkers on supportive, destructive, and constructive voice were weaker
than the effects when constructive voice was excluded.

8© 2020 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Table 3. Main and Interactive Effects Results

Note. N = 328. PNS = psychological needs satisfaction, RCL = relational conflict with leaders, RCC =
relational conflict with coworkers, LRAO = leader-relational attribution orientation, CRAO = coworker-
relational attribution orientation.
* p < .05. ** p < .01 (two-tailed).

We also examined those effects using the bootstrap approach (MacKinnon et al., 2007). The results
indicated that all the mediation effects of psychological needs satisfaction were significant. Bootstrap results
are reported in Table 4. Particularly for relationship conflicts with leaders, the 95% confidence interval (CI)
for indirect effects did not include zero; for relationship conflicts with coworkers, the 95% CI of the indirect
effects also excluded zero. Thus, Hypotheses 1a, 1b, 1c and 2a, 2b, 2c were all supported.

Table 4. Results of Bootstrap Analyses for the Mediating Role of Psychological Needs Satisfaction

Note. N = 328. Bootstrap sample size = 5,000. CI = confidence interval, LL = lower limit, UL = upper limit.

Moderating Effects of Employees’ Leader-Relational Attribution Orientation and
Employees’ Coworker-Relational Attribution Orientation

In Hypothesis 3a we predicted that …

Family Meals Buffer the Daily Emotional Risk Associated With Family
Conflict

Emma Armstrong-Carter
Stanford University

Eva H. Telzer
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Family meals have been associated with positive adolescent outcomes in cross-sectional and longitudinal
research. However, it is not known how adolescents experience family meals on a daily basis, and
whether family meals buffer stresses associated with interpersonal conflicts on the daily level. To address
this gap in the literature, adolescents (N � 396, 58% female, Mage � 14.57 years) completed diary
checklists for up to 14 days, reporting their emotions, experiences of family and peer conflict, and
whether they ate with their family that day. On days that adolescents shared a family meal, they felt
greater happiness and role fulfillment, and less burnout and distress. Moreover, family conflict was
associated with more negative emotionality only on days that adolescents did not also eat with the family.
Findings suggest that family meals buffer daily risks associated with familial conflicts. Follow-up
analyses suggest that these processes may be particularly important among older adolescents.

Keywords: adolescence, family meal, emotions, family conflict, peer conflict

During busy daily life, meals are often the only time when
family members come together to engage, and provide and receive
emotional support (Larson, Branscomb, & Wiley, 2006). Perhaps
in part because daily family meals represent a stable, routine, and
context for emotional connectedness (Goldfarb, Tarver, & Sen,
2014; Jones, 2018), family meals have been associated with many
positive outcomes across development. For example, adolescents
who more frequently eat with the family are less likely to be
overweight or underweight, have substance use problems, and
struggle with clinical depression (Fulkerson et al., 2006), and tend
to feel more emotionally close to parents and siblings (Fiese et al.,
2002) compared with their peers. The benefits associated with
family meals also extend beyond the home. Adolescents who more
frequently eat with the family tend to exhibit higher academic
performance (Eisenberg, Olson, Neumark-Sztainer, Story, & Bear-
inger, 2004), fewer antisocial behaviors (Fulkerson et al., 2006;
Prior & Limbert, 2013; Sen, 2010), and increased social compe-
tencies with peers (Fulkerson et al., 2006).

Prior research has been almost entirely cross-sectional, retro-
spective, or longitudinal, which can only tell us about average
meal eating behaviors between adolescents. This work has exam-
ined how average family meals at one time point relate to average
well-being at another time point (Goldfarb et al., 2014). To extend
prior research, it is important to clarify whether family meals are
associated with positive or negative emotions on the daily level.
Examining temporal relations at the daily level may help us to
understand the processes by which family meals promote long-
term well-being (Offer, 2013a, 2013b), as has been observed in
prior research. For example, if adolescents feel happier on days
that they eat with the family, this could partially explain why
family meals are associated with later positive social and emo-
tional adaptation.

Family Meals as a Protective Factor Against
Interpersonal Conflict

Family meals may translate into greater well-being by protect-
ing against the negative effects of daily stressors, such as conflict
in the home. On the daily level, sharing a family meal may
mitigate the negative impacts of family conflict by providing an
opportunity to make amends, internalize disputes less, engage
positively, and recover; thereby, offsetting distress caused by
conflict during the day. Supporting this notion, Family Systems
Theory and developmental theories of risk and resilience (Brod-
erick, 1993; Labella & Masten, 2018) have suggested that spend-
ing positive time together as a family after experiencing emotional
challenges can increase adolescents’ feelings of family cohesion
and emotional security, and promote resilience (Fiese et al., 2002;
Jones, 2018). Consistent with these theories, family meals have
been associated with greater emotional well-being among adoles-
cents experiencing ongoing difficult family relationships (Meier &
Musick, 2014). Indeed, the experience of coming together as a

This article was published Online First September 28, 2020
X Emma Armstrong-Carter, Graduate School of Education, Stanford

University; Eva H. Telzer, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This article was prepared with support from the National Institutes of
Health Grant R01DA039923 and National Science Foundation Grant SES
1459719 provided to Eva H. Telzer, the Department of Psychology at the
University of Illinois, and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Emma
Armstrong-Carter, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University,
520 Galvez Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, or to Eva H. Telzer, Department
of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, 235 East Cameron Avenue, Chapel Hill, NC 27510. E-mail:
[email protected] or [email protected]

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Developmental Psychology
© 2020 American Psychological Association 2020, Vol. 56, No. 11, 2110 –2120
ISSN: 0012-1649 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0001111

2110

family to share a meal may be more important than the specific
meal itself (Larson et al., 2006). However, it remains unclear
whether family meals protect against emotional risks on the daily
level as well. If family meals reduce the distress that is asso-
ciated with family conflict the same day, this could represent
one daily pathway through which family meals ultimately con-
fer the greater well-being. Moreover, this could reveal a key
experience in the home that helps to support adolescents’ daily
emotional health.

In addition to buffering the negative costs of family conflict,
family meals may also protect youth in the face of conflict with
peers. Family meals can provide adolescents the opportunity to
express difficult feelings, receive emotional support from parents
and siblings, and distract from difficult emotions by engaging
positively with family (Fiese, Foley, & Spagnola, 2006, 2012;
Larson et al., 2006). For example, adolescents whose family mem-
bers express concern and emotional support during family dinners
tend to feel greater trust and belonging in the family, which may
foster resiliency even outside the home (Fiese et al., 2006; Larson
et al., 2006). Indeed, parents often use meal times to encourage and
coach youth through difficult experiences (Larson et al., 2006),
and this may include social challenges with peers. Consistent with
this notion, a family meal may provide adolescents the opportunity
to share their experiences of negative peer interactions or conflict
they encountered that day, receive emotional support, encourage-
ment and ideas for how to cope. In this way, family meals may
protect adolescents from emotional risk the same day; that is,
adolescents may go to bed feeling relatively happier and more
fulfilled after having a chance to express their challenges and
receive support (Ho et al., 2018).

Adolescence as a Sensitive Developmental Period

Adolescence is an essential developmental period for studying
processes related to family meals, interpersonal conflict, and youth
adaptation for several reasons. First, adolescents may benefit more
from family meals compared with children, if meals help to main-
tain connection with the family during the adolescent transition
toward increased autonomy and participation in activities outside
the home with peers (Brannen, 2002). Second, adolescents expe-
rience higher levels of daily interpersonal conflicts, which incurs
increased emotional risk (Chung, Flook, & Fuligni, 2011; Holm-
beck, 2018). In addition, adolescents also become more sensitive
to the negative effects of interpersonal conflicts, because they
experience hormonal shifts (Romeo, 2013), begin to develop their
own social identities that are highly influenced by their interac-
tions with others (Fuligni, 2019) and place increasing importance
on relationships with peers (Chung et al., 2011). These shifts may
be particularly pronounced in older compared with younger ado-
lescents (Holmbeck, 2018), who spend more of their day away
from the family with peers (Brannen, 2002). In light of this, family
meals might be even more of a protective factor during later
adolescence, compared with earlier adolescence. It is important to
understand if the interplay between family meals, conflict, and
adjustment varies across adolescent development, as this may
reveal key, specific developmental periods during which family
meals are more or less beneficial and protective.

Current Study

In the current study, we capitalized on the daily diary method in
a large and diverse sample of adolescents. We examined whether
family meals and family and peer conflict contribute to adoles-
cents’ positive or negative emotions on the daily level, and
whether family meals mitigate the emotional risks associated with
family and peer conflict. The daily diary method is uniquely useful
for examining questions related to adolescents’ emotions and daily
routines in the home (Telzer & Fuligni, 2009a). Youths’ reports of
their daily activities, behaviors, and feelings are more reliable and
accurate than when these processes are assessed using traditional
retrospective accounts from a single questionnaire (Bolger, Davis,
& Rafaeli, 2003). Daily diary methods also allow researchers to
examine whether specific events that occur on one day are asso-
ciated with feelings measured the same day. For example, on days
that adolescents share a meal with their family, are they more
likely to feel happy or distressed? While not causal, data of this
nature allow us to test within the same adolescent, whether family
meals and positive and negative emotions co-occur with each other
on the same day. In this way, we can hold constant the extraneous
traits and characteristics of both the individual adolescent and the
family. Daily diary methods also enable us to examine interactions
between multiple processes that occur on the daily level. For
example, does the daily association between interpersonal conflict
and emotions depend on whether the adolescent ate a meal with
their family that day? Prior literature that has examined links
between family meals and adolescent outcomes has used indexes
that are averaged across days or retrospective (Goldfarb et al.,
2014). More recent studies emphasize the importance of examin-
ing family experiences on the daily level, as family routines have
been shown to temporally fluctuate with emotions within days
(Armstrong-Carter, Ivory, Lin, Muscatell, & Telzer, 2020; Telzer
& Fuligni, 2009b). In particular, recent work has revealed signif-
icant daily fluctuations in adolescents’ happiness, distress, burn-
out, and role fulfillment (i.e., feeling like a good son, daughter, or
sibling), suggesting that these measures of emotions capture dis-
tinctive variability across days within adolescents, and are mean-
ingfully related to same-day family experiences. For example,
role-fulfillment has been linked to family behaviors with effect
sizes twice the size of more commonly measured constructs such
as happiness or distress (Armstrong-Carter et al., 2020), indicating
that it may be robustly and uniquely related to adolescents’ expe-
riences in the home the same day.

Using the daily diary method, we tested the following key
questions: (1) Is eating a meal with the family associated with
positive or negative emotions the same day? Given the observed
associations between family meals and positive developmental
outcomes in prior cross-sectional and longitudinal work, we hy-
pothesized that family meals would be associated with more pos-
itive emotions (e.g., happiness and role-fulfillment) and fewer
negative emotions (e.g., distress and burnout) the same day. We
tested multiple positive and negative emotions to both to allow for
the possibility that family meals might relate to different measures
simultaneously and divergently (e.g., increase happiness but also
increase distress, or increase happiness but decrease role-
fulfillment) and to be consistent with prior work (Armstrong-
Carter et al., 2020; Telzer & Fuligni, 2009a). (2) Are family and
peer conflict associated with positive or negative emotions on the

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2111FAMILY MEALS, CONFLICT, AND EMOTIONS

daily level, and does eating a meal with the family buffer (i.e.,
moderate) this association? Informed by developmental theories of
youth risk and resilience, which suggest that positive family ex-
periences can counteract the risks of negative experiences (Labella
& Masten, 2018), we hypothesized that family meals would buffer
the negative effects of family and peer conflict. (3) Do these
associations vary by age across early to late adolescence? Drawing
on evidence of increases in daily conflict, emotional risk, and
interpersonal sensitivity across adolescence (Holmbeck, 2018), we
hypothesized that older adolescents may benefit even more from
family meals, compared with younger adolescents. To follow up
and provide further evidence of directionality of effects, we con-
ducted additional sensitivity analyses. Specifically, we first con-
trolled for previous day emotions, and then tested potential spill-
over into emotions the next day.

Method

Participants

Participants were 396 adolescents (57.92% female) between the
ages of 11 and 18 years (Mage � 14.57 years, SD � 1.39 years).
The sample was racially and ethnically diverse: 38.89% identified
as non-Hispanic White (from here on referred to as White, N �
154), 26.77% Asian (N � 106, 13 of whom were mixed [e.g.,
Asian and White]), 16.67% Hispanic/Latinx (N � 66, 11 of whom
were mixed [e.g., Hispanic and White]), 10.8% African American
(N � 45, 9 of whom were mixed [e.g., African American and
White]), and 6.31% other race (N � 27, 16 of whom self-identified
as other and nine were mixed race). Approximately 10% of moth-
ers had less than an 8th grade education, 13% did not complete
high school, 24% completed high school, 27% completed postsec-
ondary education (college, trade, or vocational school), and 23%
completed graduate school (3% declined to answer). Participants
were recruited from the community using convenience sampling,
including posting flyers at schools, posting on listservs serving
ethnic minority families, recruiting participants from previous
studies who agreed to be contacted for other research studies, and
word of mouth. Participants were compensated $10 in total for
completing the daily diaries as well as a $20 bonus if inspection of
the data indicated that they had completed all the diaries on time.
Participants provided written consent/assent and procedures were
approved by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Com-
mittee on Human Subjects (Protocol #13378; Development of
Decision Making and Social Cognition).

Procedure

Participants were provided with diary checklists; most partici-
pants (80%) were provided 14 days of diaries, whereas 20% of
participants (N � 83) were only provided with 7 days of diaries.
Most participants (89.82%) completed all days of their dairies
(M � 93.87% of days, SD � 15.51% of days, range � 14.29 –
100%). There were 4,369 total person-day observations (Level 1
reports). Diaries included both weekdays and weekends. The order
of days differed between participants depending on the day of the
week that they started, but all participants had the same proportion
of weekday to weekend data if they completed all of the diaries.
Participants chose to complete the diaries either on paper (63.20%)

or via a secure website (36.80%). Participants who responded with
paper were given 14 manila envelopes and an electronic time
stamper (Dymo Corporation, Stamford, CT), which verified the
time that checklists were completed. The time stamper is a small
device that imprints the current date and time and is programmed
with a security code so that the correct date and time cannot be
changed. Participants were instructed to place their completed
checklists into an envelope each night and to stamp the seal of the
envelope with the time stamper. Participants who completed sur-
veys online were sent an e-mail with the link to each daily diary
survey, and the time and date of completion were recorded via the
website. The daily diary checklists were three pages long and each
took approximately 5–10 min to complete.

Measures

Family meals. Participants indicated on the daily checklist
whether or not they ate any meal with their family each day. We
chose this broad measure because the process of coming together
as a family has been associated with positive outcomes, and the
specific meal (i.e., breakfast, lunch, or dinner) may vary by family
and day and may be less important (Larson et al., 2006). To allow
for the possibility that the structure and timing of family meals
vary across different households, we did not specify or define
“family meal” any further in the daily checklist. As such, adoles-
cents were able to define family meals for themselves in the
context of their own experience. This item yielded a single dichot-
omous index of family meals, which was coded 0 � no family
meal, 1 � family meal.

Daily family conflict. Items on the daily checklist asked par-
ticipants to indicate whether they had engaged in different behav-
iors with family members each day. Each item was coded as 0 �
no, 1 � yes. Our measure of Family conflict was based on family
systems theory (Broderick, 1993), general self-report measures of
family conflict (e.g., Bloom, 1985), and other daily diary studies
(Chung et al., 2011). This was the mean of four items: you argued
with a sibling, you got into trouble or were punished by your
parents, you argued with a parent, you lied to parent (R1F � .77;
see Cranford et al., 2006 for more information on this reliability
statistic).

Daily peer conflict. Items on the daily checklist asked partic-
ipants to indicate whether they had engaged in different behaviors
with peers each day. Each item was coded as 0 � no, 1 � yes. Our
measure of Peer conflict was based on social relational theories of
adolescent development (Laursen & Collins, 1994), and other
self-reported measures of peer conflict (e.g., Marsee et al., 2011)
including those from prior daily diary studies (Chung et al., 2011).
It was the mean of 11 items: you hit, kicked, or shoved a peer, you
threatened, insulted, or made fun of a peer, you said something
mean behind a friend’s back, you excluded or left a friend out, you
lied to a friend, someone online or in a text message threatened,
insulted or made fun of you, you argued with a friend, you argued
with a boyfriend or girlfriend, you were excluded or left out by
friends, a peer said something mean behind your back, a peer
threatened, insulted, or made fun of you, R1F � .97. This measure
demonstrated acceptable within-person reliability of change
(RC � .71; Cranford et al., 2006).

Daily emotions. Daily emotions were assessed with items on
the daily checklist that were drawn from the Profile of Mood States

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2112 ARMSTRONG-CARTER AND TELZER

(McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971) and used in prior research
(Armstrong-Carter et al., 2020; Telzer & Fuligni, 2009a). Adoles-
cents used a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (ex-
tremely) to indicate “the extent to which they felt each emotion
that day.” The time of day for each emotion was not specified.
Happiness was calculated from two items: joyful and happy,
R1F � .87. Distress was calculated from nine items: sad, hopeless,
discouraged, on edge, unable to concentrate, uneasy, nervous,
stressed, worried, R1F � .88. Burnout was calculated from three
items: fatigue, exhausted, and worn-out, R1F � .87. Role Fulfill-
ment was calculated from two additional items in the daily diary in
which participants responded on a 7-point Likert-scale ranging
from 1 (not at all) to 7 (extremely) to report the extent to which
they felt like “a good son or daughter” and “a good brother or
sister” that day. Role fulfillment was calculated as the mean of
these two items, R1F � .86. Because adolescents answered the
daily diaries at the end of the day just before bedtime, family meals
occurred before adolescents reported their emotions. All emotion
composites demonstrated acceptable within-person reliability of
change (RCs � .71–.79). For all daily diary measures (i.e., family
and peer conflict, emotions), there was substantial within-person
variability (intraclass correlation coefficient, ICC � .43–.79) and
between-person variability across the diary days (ICC � .36 –.64).

Data Analysis

Our aim was to understand the daily association between eating
a meal with the family and positive and negative emotions, and
whether family meals buffer emotional reactivity associated with
daily interpersonal conflicts. We conducted linear mixed effect
models that nested days (Level 1) within participants (Level 2).
Fixed effects were tested at the level of participants (i.e., Level 2).
This statistical approach accounts for dependency within partici-
pants and introduces less bias because of missing data compared
with traditional statistical analyses, such as repeated measures
analysis of variance (Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002). We person-
centered all Level-1 predictors, and we included on the intercept
person-mean values for each of our daily predictors (i.e., family
meals, family conflict, and peer conflict; Curran & Bauer, 2011).

Model 1 tested family meals and interpersonal conflict (family
and peer) as simultaneous Level 1 predictors of each emotional
experience the same day. Model 2 additionally included an inter-
action term that was the product of family meal and each inter-
personal conflict variable (i.e., family conflict and peer conflict).

To test potential differences in observed associations by develop-
mental period, Model 3 included an additional three-way interac-
tion term between family meals, adolescent age, and each conflict
variable. We conducted additional sensitivity analyses first con-
trolling for prior day emotions and then testing next day emotions
as a dependent variable.

To probe significant cross-level interactions, we used the simple
slopes technique (Aiken, West, & Reno, 1991) to test the associ-
ations between interpersonal conflict and emotions on days when
there was or was not a family meal. For three-way interactions, we
split adolescents by the mean age for the sample, and plotted
two-way interactions within younger and older adolescents. All
analyses were conducted using Stata Software (StataSE, Version
15.1.632).

Results

Sample Characteristics

Table 1 displays descriptive statistics for sample constructs for
the full sample and by sex and race/ethnicity. On average, adoles-
cents ate a meal with the family on 61% of days. Family meals
were most common among Asian youth and least common among
Black youth, but did not differ by sex. Girls reported higher peer
conflict than boys, but family conflict did not vary by sex.

Bivariate correlations of mean values across days showed that
adolescents who ate more frequent family meals were younger,
r � �.09, p � .001 and experienced more family conflict, r � .05,
p � .002, and less peer conflict, r � �.04, p � .001. Adolescents
who experienced more family conflict were younger, r � �.08,
p � .001, and experienced more peer conflict, r � .21, p � .001.
There were no other significant correlations across days.

Multilevel analyses at the daily level showed that family meals
were not related to family conflict or peer conflict on the daily
level (p � .078). Family and peer conflict co-occurred on the same
days (B � 0.06, SE � 0.01, p � .000), consistent with prior
research (Chung et al., 2011).

Family Meals Are Associated With More Positive and
Fewer Negative Emotions

We first tested whether family meals, family conflict, and peer
conflict uniquely predict positive and negative emotions. As

Table 1
Descriptive Statistics for Study Constructs

Study
constructs

Full sample Boys Girls Black Asian Hispanic Other White

M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD

Family meal 0.61 (0.49) 0.62 (0.48)1 0.60 (0.49)1 0.35 (0.48)A 0.74 (0.44)B 0.60 (0.49)C 0.54 (0.50)C 0.59 (0.49)C

Family conflict 0.14 (0.20) 0.13 (0.20)1 0.14 (0.21)1 0.13 (0.19)A,B 0.14 (0.19)A,B 0.10 (0.22)A 0.16 (0.22)B 0.14 (0.21)A,B

Peer conflict 0.04 (0.10) 0.03 (0.08)1 0.04 (0.11)2 0.07 (0.13)A 0.03 (0.07)B 0.06 (0.17)A,C 0.05 (0.10)C,D 0.04 (0.09)D

Happiness 3.25 (1.08) 3.23 (1.07)1 3.25 (1.09)1 3.07 (1.25)A,D 3.08 (0.99)A 3.35 (1.08)B,C 3.27 (1.19)C,D 3.40 (1.06)C

Distress 1.65 (0.79) 1.54 (0.65)1 1.73 (0.87)2 1.74 (0.85)A 1.60 (0.75)B 1.45 (0.99)A,B 1.68 (0.92)A,B 1.67 (0.78)A,B

Burnout 2.09 (1.05) 1.96 (0.95)1 2.19 (1.11)2 2.33 (1.12)A 1.90 (0.98)B 1.92 (0.99)B 2.16 (1.06)A 2.20 (1.07)A

Role fulfillment 4.87 (1.36) 4.80 (1.35)1 4.92 (1.36)2 5.01 (1.56)A 4.56 (1.22)B 4.92 (1.48)A 5.11 (1.34)A 5.02 (1.35)A

Note. For sex, means with the same number are not significantly different at the p � .05 level. For race, means with the same letter are not significantly
different.

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2113FAMILY MEALS, CONFLICT, AND EMOTIONS

shown in Model 1 of Table 2, on days that adolescents ate a meal
with the family, they reported significantly greater happiness and
role fulfillment (ps �.001), and less distress and burnout (p � .005
and p � .010, respectively). Conversely, on days that adolescents
experienced greater family conflict, they reported significantly less
happiness and role fulfillment (p � .001 and p � .001), and more
distress and burnout (p � .001 and p � .030). On days that
adolescents experienced greater peer conflict, they reported sig-
nificantly less happiness (p � .001) and more burnout and distress
(ps �.001).

Family Meals Buffer the Associations Between Family
Conflict and Negative Emotions

Our next model tested whether family meals moderates the
associations between family and peer conflict and emotions. For
family conflict, as shown in Model 2 of Table 2, family meals
significantly interacted with family conflict to predict happiness
(p � .003), burnout (p � .010), role fulfilment (p � .000), and
distress (p � .030). As shown in Figures 1 and 2, family conflict
was associated with lower levels of happiness and higher levels of
burnout only on days when adolescents did not eat a family meal.
On days when adolescents ate a family meal, family conflict was
not associated with happiness or burnout. Similarly, as shown in
Figures 3 and 4, family conflict was associated with lower role
fulfillment and higher levels of distress, particularly on days that
there was no family meal. Together, these findings suggest that
family meals buffer the daily emotional toll of experiencing family
conflict.

In addition, family meals significantly interacted with peer
conflict to predict role fulfilment (p � .045). As shown in Figure
5, peer conflict was associated with marginally lower levels of role
fulfillment only on days when adolescents did not eat a family
meal. On days when adolescents ate a family meal, peer conflict
was not associated with role fulfillment. There were no other
significant associations between family meals, peer conflict, and
emotions (ps � .050�.832).

Sensitivity Analyses

Bonferroni correction. As follow up, we conducted Bonfer-
roni correction for four analyses (four emotion outcomes). Results
all retained significance at the p � .013 level except …