Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Rottinghaus, Patrick

Second Advisor

Lakshmanan, Usha


Recent theoretical approaches, such the Psychology of Working perspective (Blustein, 2006; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016), have emphasized social stratification and social justice, and quantitative assessments of these constructs are needed. The current study examines the development and initial validation of the Work and Human Needs Inventory (WAHNI), which assesses the extent to which individuals’ work meets several human needs: survival, power, autonomy, social connection, and purpose. Items were constructed and refined using content analysis of relevant constructs, expert analysis, and a pilot study. Exploratory factor analysis on a sample of 338 working adults revealed five factors: Provision, Purpose, Power, Autonomy, and Connection. Confirmatory factor analyses on a separate sample of 203 working adults supported this factor structure. Scale intercorrelations with the Differential Status Identity Scale (Brown et al., 2002), the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status (Adler, Epel, Castellazzo, & Ickovicks, 2000), and the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006) provided validity evidence. Research and practical implications for the WAHNI are discussed.




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