Effects of Role Stressors Appraised as Challenges and Hindrances on Work Outcomes

Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


University of Baltimore. Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Science in Applied Psychology

Citation of Original Publication


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This study examines the moderating effects of stressor appraisal as a challenge, hindrance, both, or neither among 237 full-time employees who completed surveys via MTurk. Utilizing the Transactional Model of stress, it was predicted that correlations between each of role ambiguity, role conflict, and role overload would negatively relate with general well-being, affective commitment, and job satisfaction, and positively relate with tedium, anxiety, and turnover intentions. Second, it was expected that when appraising a role stressor as a high challenge (vs. a high hindrance) the deleterious effects of stressors on outcomes would be weaker. The first prediction is supported; however, the second set of predictions are only partially supported. The appraisal of a stressor as a hindrance indicates stronger deleterious effects on psychological strains, specifically anxiety and tedium. Whereas, when stressors, specifically role conflict, are appraised as a challenge, there appears to be a modest buffering effect on general well-being and job satisfaction. Third, this study examined a three-way interaction between each of the role stressors, and the appraisal of a stressor as a (high or low) challenge and a (high or low) hindrance. Results indicate that role conflict appraised as a low hindrance and a high challenge mitigates the deleterious relationship between role conflict and tedium. In fact, when role conflict is appraised as a high hindrance and a low challenge, the positive relationship between role conflict and tedium intensifies. Furthermore, when role conflict is appraised as a high hindrance and as a high challenge, there is little to no protection from the deleterious effects of role conflict on tedium. These findings further highlight the importance of self-appraisal and indicate that challenge stressors do not always lead to positive outcomes, but perceiving stressors as challenges may help to mitigate negative outcomes.