Committee Chair

Cunningham, Christopher J. L.

Committee Member

O'Leary, Brian J.; Ferrier, David E.


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


According to the transactional theory of stress, cognitive individual differences impact stressor appraisal. Sense of Coherence (SoC) refers to an individual’s generalized perception of environmental stimuli. Individuals with a strong SoC perceive the world as more comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful and may be more likely to appraise work-related stressors as having potential for opportunities (challenges) than for obstructing personal gain (hindrances) or causing harm (threats). This study assessed the role of SoC in the appraisal of work-related stressors as challenges, hindrances, and threats. Although an individual’s SoC remains relatively stable upon reaching adulthood, there is a positive association between age and SoC across the lifespan. This study examined the moderating effect of age on the relationship between SoC and stressor appraisal. Two statistical techniques were applied, with one set of results supporting the hypothesis and the other set revealing significant relationships between stressor appraisal tendencies and the three SoC subdimensions.


I would especially like to thank my parents for their endless love and support throughout my academic career, and I want to thank my family and friends for their help and generosity. I would also like to thank my thesis chair, Dr. Chris Cunningham, for his constant guidance, encouragement, and dedication in helping me with this project. Thank you to Dr. Amanda Clark for her mentorship and to my committee members, Dr. Brian O’Leary and Dr. David Ferrier, for generously sharing their knowledge and offering advice throughout the process. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this area of research and to those who are dedicated to improving occupational health and well-being. Finally, I am grateful to each of my amazing classmates, who have inspired and supported me along this journey.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Stress (Psychology); Job stress; Sense of coherence


Stress; Stressor appraisal; Sense of coherence; Work environment; Age


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Document Type

Masters theses


xii, 123 leaves




Under copyright.