Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Job Insecurity and Religious/Spiritual Coping: Sacred Resources for Employment Uncertainty

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Kenneth Pargament

Second Advisor

Annette Mahoney (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Alfred DeMaris (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Steve Jex (Committee Member)


One area of workplace spirituality ripe for investigation is use of religion and spirituality (R/S) to cope with job insecurity. Pertinent literature on transactional coping, R/S coping, sanctification of work, workplace spirituality, and job insecurity is reviewed. Using Mechanical Turk, 467 individuals from the United States who were experiencing some type of job insecurity in their full-time jobs participated in this study. Participants had worked at their respective companies for approximately 4.31 years. The sample was 52.9% male, 77.5% Caucasian, with a mean age of 30.22 years. Approximately 38.5% of the participants stated they never attended R/S services and 35.5% denied having any R/S affiliation. Positive R/S coping moderated the relationship between an individual's organizational commitment and job satisfaction. There was a stronger positive relationship between organizational commitment and job satisfaction for people who use less positive R/S coping relative to greater use of positive R/S coping. Negative R/S coping separately moderated the relationships between total job insecurity and cognitive/affective job insecurity with psychological distress and health respectively. For those individuals who reported greater use of negative R/S coping, the relationship between either form of job insecurity with psychological distress was more strongly positive than for people who used lower levels of negative R/S coping. For those who reported greater use of negative R/S coping, the connection between either form of job insecurity and poorer health was stronger. Sanctification of work moderated the relationships between organizational commitment and health, organizational support and psychological distress, as well as organizational support and health. In each of these cases, greater use of sanctification was tied to stronger relationships between the organizational and adjustment related variable: positive relationships between organizational variables and better health and negative relationships between organizational variables and increased psychological distress. Implications of these findings include the stress mobilization of positive R/S coping, the deleterious relationships involving use of negative R/S coping, and the importance of fit of sanctification of work with an individual's commitment and support from his or her organization. R/S appear to be double-edged swords that contribute to a worker's well-being and are also connected to occupational struggles.