Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Paul E. Spector, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carnot Nelson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William P. Sacco, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.


Current research on organizational stress suggests a relationship between stressors, and psychological and psychosomatic health outcomes. The strength of this relationship varies between 0.17 and 0.35. Research has also suggested that personal relationships may moderate these correlations. One such variable is thought to be social support. This study set out to examine the relationship between social support in the workplace and organizational stressors while at the same time controlling for variables that may obscure the true nature of the relationship. Taking measurements while still seniors in college (Time one) and shortly after they were employed (Time two) allowed this control to be accomplished in a longitudinal setting. This study evaluated the nature of these relationships among new employees in a variety of organizations. The personality variable negative affectivity (NA) was measured at time one and at time two. In addition, reported psychosomatic outcomes were measured at time one and at time two. The interval between time one and time two was 12 - 15 months. Organizational stressors, NA, strains, and transient mood were measured at time two. The results indicated that after controlling for mood and NA, supervisory social support was negatively related to stressors and strains. Coworker social support demonstrated a significant affective/emotional component. When both mood scales and NA were partialled out many of the corrleations dropped below significance. Results for the NA construct variable specifically suggested that it did not appear to be a major underlying explanatory variable. Future research directions are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons