Date of Award

December 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Committee Member

Thomas W Britt

Committee Member

Robert R Sinclair

Committee Member

Gargi Sawhney

Committee Member

Zhuo J Chen


Though work stress research has come a long way since the early unidimensional models of stressor-outcome relationships, there continues to be a lack of consensus on how stressors influence employees, and on how individual employee characteristics influence the stressor appraisal process. This study utilized a 3-wave longitudinal design to investigate the relationships between the appraisals of challenge and hindrance stressors at work, perceived resilience, stress mindset, and psychological strain. Split into two separate models, the present study sought to extend previous research on the mediating effects of perceived resilience on the relationship between stressors and strain, and to investigate potential reciprocal relationships among stressor appraisals, perceived resilience, and stress mindset. Results showed that a reciprocal effect existed between hindrance stressor appraisals and perceived resilience, but not between challenge stressor appraisals and perceived resilience, where only the appraisal to resilience path was significant. Additionally, while some of the relationships between appraisals, perceived resilience, and strain were supportive of my hypotheses, I did not observe any mediating effects of perceived resilience. Finally, while bivariate correlations showed some level of association between stress mindset and perceived resilience, SEM did not replicate these relationships. Despite the lack of support for many of my hypotheses, the findings of the present study held important lessons for work stress research, especially given the methods used. A discussion of implications for work stress and stressor appraisal research, and for organizational practitioners, is included.



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