Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


The Effects of Income Adequacy on Job Search Behaviors: A Test of Moderated Mediation


Dr. Robert R. Sinclair

Document Type



Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Publication Date

Spring 2013


The purpose of the current study was to examine the consequences of perceived income adequacy within the nursing population. In order to allow for more effective development of practical interventions, the present study also assessed the underlying mechanisms through which income adequacy affected job search behaviors. Using a sample of 208 nurses in the Northwestern United States, we found that individuals who perceived their income as inadequate for their current wants and current needs were more likely to engage in job search behaviors. The results showed that physical and mental health symptoms explained the pathways between income adequacy and job search behaviors. Specifically, perceptions of income inadequacy led to unhealthy symptoms (e.g., trouble sleeping, depression), which in turn led to more job search behaviors. However, full mediation occurred only when participants had one or more financial dependents. The significant moderated mediation suggested that individuals with financial dependents were more likely to be affected by income inadequacy and subsequent health problems. These results shed light on how nurses appraise stress relevant to their financial situations and provide valuable information for health care organizations to prevent employees’ job search process or actual departure.

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