Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Davis, Randall


The purpose of this study is to investigate the moderating role of personal resources (individual differences) in appraising workplace stressors. Inconsistent results in the empirical research for occupational stress and work-related outcomes constitute further investigation into the stress appraisal process. Although some researchers argue that the relationship between stress and organizational outcomes is dependent on the type of stressors being appraised (Cavanaugh, Boswell, Roehling, & Boudreau, 2000; Podsakoff, LePine, & LePine, 2007; Webster, Beehr, & Christiansen, 2008) these same researchers have ignored the factors that predict how these types of stressors will be appraised. Instead, they have relied too heavily on presumed classification and uniformed appraisal of stressors (Cooper & Payne, 1992). Two-hundred and twelve participants were recruited from Southern Illinois University Carbondale to participate in the online experiment. A structural equation model was used to test the moderating role of resilience on the stressor appraisal process of a classified hindrance stressor (task ambiguity). More specifically, this study aimed to uncover the directional relationships between personal resources, appraisal, perceived stress, and various outcome-related factors. Findings from the current study indicate appraisal and perceived stress statistically significantly predicted negative affective thoughts. Additionally, perceived stress partially mediated the relationship between appraisal and negative affective thoughts. On-task effort also significantly predicted delegation behaviors in participants. Unfortunately, results from this study did not show a significant moderating effect for resilience on the relationship between ambiguity and appraisal. Although resilience has not specifically been found to have moderating effects regarding challenge hindrance appraisals, many types of personal resources have been found to act as moderators like coherence ( Antonovsky, 1991), self-efficacy (Beehr & Bowling, 2005), and locus of control (Buzzell & Primeau, 2001). This study’s findings help to broaden the theoretical and empirical foundations of the challenge-hindrance framework found in occupational stress, and more broadly, the applied psychology literature.




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