Crossover of Work Engagement Among Japanese Couples: Perspective Taking by Both Partners

Arnold B. Bakker, Akihito Shimazu, Evangelia Demerouti, Kyoko Shimada, Norito Kawakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


This study among 426 Japanese couples working in different occupational sectors tested the hypothesis that perspective taking moderates the crossover of work engagement. More specifically, we predicted that husbands' work engagement would cross over to their wives, particularly when wives scored high on perspective taking (the spontaneous tendency to adopt the psychological perspective of other people). A similar effect was predicted from wives to husbands. In addition, we hypothesized that the crossover effect would be most pronounced when both partners were high in perspective taking (i.e., a 3-way interaction effect). The results of moderated structural equation modeling analyses confirmed the moderating role of perspective taking, but only for women; women who took the perspective of their partner scored higher on engagement with increasing partner engagement. Moreover, the results showed that engagement crossover was strongest when both men and women were high (vs. low) in perspective taking. This 3-way interaction effect was found from husbands to wives, and vice versa. These findings expand the crossover literature by shedding light on the crossover process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-125
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Contagion
  • Crossover
  • Empathy
  • Employee engagement
  • Perspective taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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