First Advisor

Charlotte Fritz

Date of Publication

Fall 12-9-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology






Correctional personnel -- Job stress, Work environment -- Psychological aspects, Organizational behavior, Prison industries -- Safety measures



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 152 pages)


Safety at work is of the utmost importance to employees and the organizations they work for, and as such, it is a central issue for occupational health psychology. Although dramatic decreases in the number of worker injuries and fatalities have been observed over the last several decades, safety remains a principal concern for organizations. This is especially true in occupations in which employees face serious threats to their personal safety, such as correctional officers (COs). While a number of studies have identified workplace factors that contribute to worker safety, few have attempted to draw a link between employee nonwork experiences and safety at work. In the current study, a model was tested to examine whether the relationship between cognitive nonwork recovery experiences and safety performance at work was mediated by safety motivation. Specifically, the effort-recovery model (Meijman & Mulder, 1998) and the concept of self-regulatory resources (Muraven & Baumeister, 2000) were utilized to test these relationships. It was hypothesized that psychological detachment during nonwork time can replenish cognitive resources that employees need in order to feel motivated to be focused on safety in the workplace, and negative work reflection can drain these resources. Furthermore, drawing on Broaden-and-Build theory (Fredrickson, 1998) it was posited that positive work reflection during nonwork time would have a positive relationship with safety motivation. Additionally, it was hypothesized that the relationship between these cognitive recovery experiences and safety motivation would be moderated by individual perceptions of safety climate. The hypotheses were examined in a sample of COs (N = 166) from two correctional facilities in Oregon. The results overall did not provide strong empirical support for the model. No support was found for the role of psychological detachment or negative work reflection. Additionally, perceptions of safety climate did not moderate the relationship between cognitive recovery experiences and safety. However, positive work reflection during nonwork time was significantly associated with safety participation motivation, which in turn had a positive association with safety participation. Additionally analyses revealed that this relationship was reciprocal in nature when utilizing an additional sample four months after data collection, such that safety participation motivation and safety participation predicted positive work reflection. The findings from the current study build on the research between the work-life interface and safety at work, suggesting that positive nonwork experiences can potentially be related to discretional safety performance at work. Implications for practical applications and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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