First Advisor

Donald Truxillo

Date of Publication

Summer 7-26-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Employees -- Job satisfaction -- Age factors, Intergenerational relations, Supervision of employees, Employees -- Attitudes



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 97 pages)


Increasing age heterogeneity within organizations is pressing researchers to better understand the effects of a multigenerational workforce, teams, and dyads. In response to this, the present research aimed to investigate the effect of employee and supervisor age (in)congruence in relation to job and life satisfaction, as well as retirement intentions, all mediated by leader-member exchange (LMX), using a time-lagged design. Two different theoretical foundations were investigated. Based on the relational demography literature, better outcomes were expected to be associated with age similarity. Theories about implicit expectations relating age and social role guided hypotheses suggesting that beyond just similarity or difference, the direction of age differences would matter. Based on traditional social assumptions that age is associated with experience and wisdom, it was expected that work outcomes would be better when the supervisor was older than the employee, and worse when the supervisor was younger than the employee. Results did not support any of the proposed hypotheses, with the exception of the established relationship between LMX and job satisfaction. However, response surface graphs and polynomial regression results directed post hoc analyses which did reveal a main effect of supervisor age on LMX and an indirect effect of supervisor age on Time 2 job satisfaction through Time 1 LMX. Employees in this sample reported higher quality LMX when supervisors were younger, regardless of employee age, and in turn employees with younger supervisors reported higher job satisfaction. These results and the trends depicted by response surface graphs are discussed in relation to implications for research and practice.


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Persistent Identifier

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Psychology Commons