Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Sanctification of Work: A Potential Moderator of the Relationship between Work Stress and Health

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Steve Jex, PhD (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Kenneth Pargament, PhD (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Robert Carels, PhD (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Gregory Rich, PhD (Committee Member)


Work stress has long been a topic of interest in both the academic world and popular culture. Work stress has been linked to a number of negative outcomes, including both mental and physical health. Religiosity, on the other hand, has been shown to increase well being. Research has shown that the sanctification of work may be linked to higher levels of positive outcomes such as job satisfaction. However, links between work stress in human services work and health outcomes, and how the sanctification of work may affect this relationship, have not been directly examined. The purpose of the current study was to address this gap in the research. This study examined links between work stress, health outcomes, and the sanctification of work. 104 employees living in either the Northeast or the Midwest and working in the human services field completed a series of measures designed to address these constructs. It was hypothesized that work stress would be linked to poor outcomes, sanctification would be linked to positive outcomes, and that sanctification would buffer the relationship between work stress and poor outcomes. Results were mixed in regards to confirming current hypotheses. With some exceptions, main analyses revealed that work stress was linked to poorer health outcomes and sanctification was linked to positive outcomes. Moderation analyses provided mixed support regarding the role of sanctification as a moderator. These findings are discussed along with implications, limitations, and future directions.