Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen


The Psychology of Working Theory (PWT; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016) was recently proposed as an empirically testable approach to understanding the work processes of those for whom work decisions are influenced by contextual factors and who engage in work for reasons other than satisfaction. In the present study of 285 adults, I investigated the relationships between marginalization, economic resources, work volition, career adaptability, and decent work. I found that work volition, career adaptability, and economic resources all uniquely predicted decent work. I also found that greater economic resources and lower marginalization predicted greater work volition. Economic resources and marginalization have a significant negative correlation, and work volition significantly predicted career adaptability. I failed to support the hypotheses that greater marginalization would predict lower decent work experiences when accounting for other variables and that greater economic resources and lower marginalization would predict greater career adaptability. I identified two alternative models for the data. A model with only work volition and career adaptability predicting decent work provided an adequate fit. A model with only work volition predicting career adaptability provided mixed results. This study provides empirical support for the initial propositions of the PWT, provides further evidence for the importance of contextual variables in work experiences, and identifies several key factors that lead individuals to attain a decent work experience.




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