We studied the quality of the job-related emotional experiences associated with work addiction. We hypothesized that work addiction would fuel both a higher level of daily job-related negative affect and a lower level of daily job-related positive affect and that such affective experiences would mediate the relationship between work addiction and emotional exhaustion reported at the end of the working day. Additionally, in light of typical behaviors and cognitions associated with work addiction, we also hypothesized that work addiction would modify the relationships between day workload and same day emotional strain reactions (i.e., job-related negative affect and job-related positive affect).
Participants were 213 workers (42.5% female), most of whom holding a high-profile job position, who were followed for 10 consecutive working days in the context of a daily diary study.
Multilevel analyses controlling for neuroticism revealed that work addiction was uniquely and positively related to daily job-related negative affect and that the latter mediated the relationship between work addiction and daily emotional exhaustion. On the other hand, work addiction was not negatively related to daily job-related positive affect; this relationship emerged only when removing neuroticism from the model. Additionally, work addiction strengthened the relationship between day workload and day job-related negative affect.