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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Committee Chair

Jay C. Thomas, Ph.D., APBB

Second Advisor

Jon Frew, Ph.D., APBB

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, Ph.D., APBB


The relationships between dispositional optimism, pessimism, coping, work stress, and psychological strain in mental health workers were examined. The researcher investigated the proposition that higher levels of optimism and pessimism are moderators of work stress, coping, and psychological strain in a stressful work environment (N=17). The present findings suggest that optimism and pessimism have strong correlations with work stress, coping efforts, as well as psychological strain. More specifically, employees who are optimistic tend to participate in more positive coping and have lower overall levels of work stress and psychological strain, while employees who are pessimistic tend to utilize more negative coping and have higher overall levels of work stress psychological strain. However, due to the lower than expected sample size, the moderator analyses were not run and thus, moderating effects in this sample are unknown. Implications of this research are discussed.


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