Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations

Employed Youth: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Job Quality and Counterproductivity

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Steve Jex


The relatively weak understanding of youth employment is underscored by the dearth of research investigating the quality of their work (Stone & Mortimer, 1998). Young employees in low-quality jobs are purported to engage in low-level counterproductivity (e.g., theft, production deviance, withdrawal), which has been causally linked to low job satisfaction and frustration. The present study focused on these premises, measuring job quality from two perspectives – self reports and O*Net job descriptions. Findings provided some support for the mediating role of affective reactions in the relationship between self reported job quality and CWBs. Specifically, results indicated that qualitative work intensity may play an important role in developing job related affect, which can influence engagement in counterproductivity. This highlights the importance of job quality and affect in the workplace.