First Advisor

Donald Truxillo

Date of Publication

Summer 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Older people -- Employment -- Psychological aspects, Older people -- Employment -- Social aspects, Work environment -- Psychological aspects -- Case studies, Job satisfaction -- Social aspects -- Case studies, Age and employment -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 94 p.) : ill.


The workforce in most industrialized countries is aging and becoming more age diverse, but few studies have examined the implications of age differences in the design of jobs. This study examined the role of age as a moderator in the relationship between job characteristics and two individual outcomes, job satisfaction and job tension. Specifically, the study focused on the relationship between social characteristics of the job (given social support, [received] social support, interdependence, interaction outside the organization, and feedback from others) and job tension and job satisfaction among Portland Water Bureau employees. Based in Socioemotional Selectivity (SES) theory (Carstensen, 1991), I hypothesized that these job characteristics would have a differential relationship with these outcomes for older and younger workers. Results showed that four of the eight hypothesized interactions were significant, providing support for age as a moderating variable. Differential interaction effects were demonstrated on job satisfaction and job tension. Further, this study incorporated a new conceptualization and measurement of the social support job characteristic (given social support), which demonstrated utility in predicting outcomes. Subjective age was also found to moderate the relationship between job satisfaction and job attitudes, but in a pattern similar to that found for chronological age. This study contributes to the existing literature by answering the call to examine the role of individual differences in the relationship between job design features and outcomes, and by increasing knowledge of the types of job characteristics that increase job satisfaction and reduce job tension for older and younger employees. Implications for the aging workforce are discussed along with future research to better understand the mediating mechanisms.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier