Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 28 Issue 24 (December 1998), Pages 2213-2290

Employee Reactions to the Physical Work Environment: The Role of Childhood Residential Attributes (pages 2213-2238)

This study examines the possibility that 2 employee background attributes, childhood residential density and childhood community type, moderate relations between characteristics of the physical work environment and employee responses. Administrative employees (N= 75) from 25 offices of a university participated in the research. Results demonstrate that employees from high‐density childhood residences and urban communities exhibited more positive responses as adults (i. e., higher performance and lower crowding) to high‐contact work environments (i. e., those characterized by few enclosures, high spatial density, and close interpersonal distance) than employees from other combinations of childhood residential density and community type. Results also suggest that the contributions of residential density and community type were somewhat accounted for by individual differences in social avoidance tendencies and noise sensitivities.

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