Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Safety-Specific Person-Environment Fit: Relation with Safety Behaviors, Job Attitudes, and Strain

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Steve Jex (Advisor)

Second Advisor

McKinney Earl (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Chen Yiwei (Committee Chair)

Fourth Advisor

Matthews Russell (Committee Member)


The concept of Person-Environment (PE) fit has gained strong theoretical and empirical support, demonstrating how the degree to which an individual is congruent with his or her environment is predictive of important individual and organizational outcomes, such as job satisfaction, performance, stress, and turnover (Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005). The current study expands upon the PE fit literature by examining how similarity between individual safety motivation and organizational safety climate influence safety behaviors. In addition, job attitudes and strain were investigated as outcomes, which have received very little attention in the area of occupational safety research. The current study examined Safety-Specific Person-Environment (SSPE) fit’s relation with outcomes using both linear regression and polynomial regression approaches, allowing for a more in depth analysis of the 3-dimenisonal relationships between safety climate, safety motivation, and the outcomes (Edwards & Parr, 1993). Results revealed that SSPE fit was predictive of safety behaviors, job attitudes, and strain. More specifically, when safety climate and safety motivation are congruent, higher levels are associated with more safety behaviors and positive job attitudes and reduced strain, as expected. In addition, when there was discrepancy between the predictors, it was found that safety behaviors and job attitudes were highest and strain was lowest when safety climate exceeded safety motivation. Unexpectedly, results revealed that safety behaviors increased as the amount of discrepancy between safety climate and safety motivation increased. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.