Project Director

Black, Kristen Jennings, 1991-

Department Examiner

Cunningham, Christopher J. L.


Dept. of Psychology


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


While the proportion of workers who belong to a union has declined in the United States, there have been significant recent campaigns to revitalize the labor movement by attempting to organize new industries. Relying on the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) Model, this study was designed to test relationships among common job demands, resources, and corresponding effects (burnout and engagement) for a sample of 73 unionized workers within the building trades industries (e.g., electrical workers, construction workers, railroad workers, etc.). Correlations and regression analyses demonstrated that perceived union support had significant negative relationships with workload, physical demands, work-family conflict, and burnout, as well as a significant positive relationship with engagement. There were no significant moderating effects of union support on burnout and engagement, except one marginal interaction effect found between physical demands and union support on engagement. Counter to the hypothesized relationship, when perceived union support was high, more physical demands related to less engagement. With the renewed public interest in labor unions and their effects, these results suggest the importance that union support as a resource can have for workers, especially as issues like stress and burnout continue to pose formidable risks.


I first want to thank the three generations of union members whose labor and solidarity allowed me to get to this point in life. In particular, I wish to thank my maternal grandmother, Gayla, for instilling in me the pride of this working class, union heritage. As a leader in her ILGWU sewing factory, she fought for her fellow workers with dignity and determination. I also very much want to thank Dr. Kristen Jennings Black for almost three years of mentorship -- from TAing for her statistics course, working on a paper for two years together, and now this thesis. I have learned so much and am so thankful for our weekly meetings these past three years. I also want to thank Dr. Christopher J. L. Cunningham whose extensive, detailed, and extremely thoughtful comments have helped elevate this thesis to becoming something of which I am immensely proud. I also wish to thank Audrey Pennington and Sam Culver for supporting me at my thesis defense.

IRB Number



B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Building trades--Employees--Labor unions; Building trades--Social aspects; Burn out (Psychology)


labor unions; stress; burnout; engagement; JD-R Model; workers


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Document Type



32 leaves







Date Available


Available for download on Friday, May 02, 2025