Individual differences in the opportunity for control: The role of psychological resilience

Alexandra Walsh (2011). Individual differences in the opportunity for control: The role of psychological resilience Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Alexandra Walsh
Thesis Title Individual differences in the opportunity for control: The role of psychological resilience
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Nerina Jimmieson
Total pages 95
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary In a society where individuals are working longer hours in more stressful jobs, many organisations are seeking to utilise individual employee resilience to combat work stress. There is, however, limited research into how psychological resilience may interact with the work environment, specifically job characteristics, and how this may ultimately influence outcomes such as performance. This study aimed to examine the influence of resilience on the use of opportunities for task control in determining the outcomes of a demanding work simulation (coping, subjective performance, and objective performance). 61 first-year psychology students completed an emailing activity under conditions of high or low task control. It was hypothesised that, overall, those high in resilience would have better task outcomes than those low in resilience. It was predicted that due to the adaptive nature of psychological resilience, there would be no difference in task outcomes for those high in resilience across the task control conditions. It was further hypothesised that, for those low in resilience, high task control would have a stress-enhancing effect, and this group would in fact have better task outcomes when provided with low task control. As predicted, there were no differences in the use of problem-focussed or escapist coping across the task control conditions for those high in resilience. Those low in resilience were found to use less problem-focussed and more escapist coping strategies when provided with high task control. Contrary to hypotheses, these effects were not found on positive re-appraisal, avoidant coping, subjective task performance or objective task performance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, as well as directions for future research.
Keyword Psychological resilience
Combatting work stress
Influence of performance

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Created: Fri, 29 Jun 2012, 11:59:24 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology