Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Paul R Yost

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Jacob Bentley

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Joey Collins


Adverse work experiences, Engagement, Traumatic work experiences, Turnover intent, Workplace psychological distress, Workplace psychological wellbeing


Workplaces work to reduce severe safety issues and highly stressful events, yet limited focus has been put on the chronic traumatic experiences and everyday psychological stressors that people experience in workplaces. This dissertation will add to existing work design literature by studying how the presence of Adverse Work Experiences, both acute and chronic, at a variety of workplaces, impact mental health both in terms of Workplace Psychological Distress and Workplace Psychological Wellbeing which in turn can affect turnover, engagement, and work conscientiousness. Results indicated adverse work experiences were significantly related to higher psychological distress, lower psychological wellbeing, higher turnover intention, lower engagement, and lower levels of work conscientiousness. Additionally, the relationship between adverse experiences and the outcomes is partially mediated by psychological wellbeing. Finally, the relationship between adverse experiences and turnover is partially mediated by psychological distress and the relationship between adverse experiences and employee engagement and work conscientiousness is fully mediated by psychological distress. The research introduces several valuable new tools for researcher and practitioners to us to assess traumatic work experiences, psychological distress at work, and psychological well-being at work. Ways that organizations can use this information to detect, prevent and address workplace trauma and distress are discussed.

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