Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas W. Britt, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Robert R. Sinclair

Committee Member

Dr. Marissa Shuffler

Committee Member

Dr. DeWayne Moore

Abstract

The present study was designed to develop a measure to capture the perception of being "stressed" as honorable or impressive, termed Stress Badge. The sentiment that having a high amount of stressors is positive and laudatory has been highlighted in the popular media, yet has not received research attention. The study examined construct validity evidence for the Stress Badge, which was proposed to have three primary internal dimensions: Stress as Achievement, Relaxation Remorse, and Stress-Related Social Comparison; and one external dimension of Stress-Related Impression Management. In Study 1, a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) conducted with a sample of 248 employees from Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) provided evidence that a four-factor structure fit the Stress Badge measure well. Study 2 was a longitudinal study of MTurk workers (Time 1 N = 1077; Matched N = 752) who completed a survey with the Stress Badge measure, convergent and discriminant validity measures (Time 1), and measures of health, wellbeing, and performance (Time 2). A CFA provided evidence that the three internal subscales of the Stress Badge measure were related to, but unique from, convergent validity measures (e.g., workaholism, perfectionism) and were not highly related to general affect or social desirability. Results of Structural Equation Modeling analyses showed that the Stress Badge was associated with better performance, but worse health outcomes and higher work-family conflict. Many of these relationships were explained by an indirect relationship through recovery experiences and perceived stress. While there was evidence of predictive validity and mediated relationships, analyses of incremental effects beyond convergent validity measures were less consistent. The results of the study have empirical contributions through the development of a novel construct, as well as practical implications in informing interventions to promote optimal views of workplace stressors.

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