Impact of Perceptions of COVID-19 Related Risks on Partner “Social Undermining” of Healthcare Workers Through the Spillover Theory

Somia Sarwar, Aisha Sarwar, Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Zia Ur Rehman Sarwar


The health emergency and pandemic at the global level was announced in the early months of 2020 due to the Covid-19 corona virus, and healthcare workers have had to perform their duties in risky circumstances. Consequently, the healthcare professionals are more vulnerable to being infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. Hence, through the lens of the spillover theory, this study investigates the effect of perceptions of Covid-19 related risks on partner (spouse) “social undermining” via emotional exhaustion. Data was collected in two periods with one-week time lag from 237 healthcare professionals and their partners.

Results revealed that perceptions of Covid-19 related risks increased partner undermining via employee emotional exhaustion. This study contributes to the literature of the current pandemic by investigating the impact of perceptions of Covid-19 related risks on healthcare workers’ close relatives. Hospital administrators and policymakers need to develop timely interventions to mitigate or minimize this negative spillover effect. Therefore, practical implications are suggested accordingly.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Somia Sarwar, Aisha Sarwar, Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Zia Ur Rehman Sarwar

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Human Resource Studies  ISSN 2162-3058


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