Publication Date

Summer 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Sharon Glazer


longitudinal, nurses, occupational stress, self-construals, social support

Subject Areas

Psychology; Occupational psychology


Practitioners and researchers often focus on social support to allay occupational stress, despite inconsistent results from empirical studies. This longitudinal study examined the impact of nurses’ self-construals on the effect of social support on the relationship between stressors and outcomes, based on research showing that people in individualistic and collectivistic cultures perceive supervisor and coworker support differently and research showing culture is internalized as self-construals. The aim of the study was to identify circumstances in which social support mitigates stress. Survey data were collected at two points in time (about four weeks apart), from 139 nurses in two northern California hospitals, and subjected to hierarchical multiple regression and correlation analyses. Results showed that most models for direct effects of social support on outcomes were supported and none of the models for two-way interactions of support and stressors on outcomes were supported. However, self-construal did interact with social support and stressors but in the opposite direction of what was hypothesized. Coworker support aggravated the effect of role overload on anxiety for interdependents (reverse buffering) but not independents. Supervisor support aggravated the effect of role ambiguity on health and burnout for independents but mitigated it for interdependents (buffering). These findings, while opposing the hypotheses, still showed the importance of context in the role of social support on occupational stress and this role’s complexity.