Date of Award

1985

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Albert J. Lott

Abstract

The present investigation was designed to integrate work and nonwork domains in the study of perceived stress, satisfaction, and psychological distress. Causal inferences among perceived work and nonwork stress and satisfaction, and psychological distress were determined by empirically testing two basic path-analytic models depicting causal relationships among those variables.

Data were obtained from a sample of 105 female clerical workers on five variables (work stress, nonwork stress, work satisfaction, nonwork satisfaction, and psychological distress) and support for the contention that work and nonwork domains are interdependent was found. Nonwork variables contributed more to perceived psychological distress than work factors.

Results of a decomposition of the organizational variables (work stress and work satisfaction) revealed that organization-wide (macro) factors contributed significantly more to work stress than job-specific (micro) factors. Moreover, with respect to work satisfaction, the sample was equally and most satisfied with supervision and co-workers, and significantly less satisfied with the work itself, followed by pay, followed by promotion

A significant overall difference among groups of female clerical workers (n = 105), female teachers (n = 30), and female registered nurses (n = 20) on a linear combination of all five variables was found. Univariate analyses of variance and a Newman-Keuls follow-up test revealed that teachers reported significantly more perceived psychological distress than the other two groups, who did not significantly differ in terms of perceived psychological distress.

Implications of this research and directions for future research are discussed.

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