Do Social Stressors Impact Everyone Equally? An Examination of the Moderating Impact of Core Self-evaluations

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between social stressors and the outcomes of job satisfaction, altruism, and turnover intentions. Additionally, this study examined the moderating impact of individuals' core self-evaluations on these relationships.


Data were obtained from a branch of the state government in the southeast. Responses were received from 144 employees. Supervisors provided responses as well, and the matched dyads where both supervisor and subordinate responses were received numbered 133.


We found that social stressors were negatively related to job satisfaction and altruism and positively related to turnover intentions. Results also indicated that higher core self-evaluations buffered the negative influence of social stressors on job satisfaction and turnover intention, but not altruism.


Our results reinforce the notion that social stressors exhibit significant negative associations with desired job consequences. Another managerial implication relates to managers when filling vacant positions. When completing this task, managers need to honestly and accurately assess the social stressors present in their organization. When social stressors are high, managers should seek to hire individuals who possess higher core self-evaluations.


This study employed a different theoretical perspective, conservation of resources theory, and extended the nomological network related to social stressors. Additionally, this study showed the important moderating impact that core self-evaluations can have on other relationships, whereas the large majority of previous studies have examined core self-evaluations as a main effect predictor of important organizational outcomes.

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