Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Konstantin P. Cigularov

Committee Member

Ian M. Katz

Committee Member

Andrew A. Bennett


Public and scholarly interest in the concept of work as a calling has grown considerably over the past few decades (Thompson & Bunderson, 2019). Much of this research has focused on the positive outcomes of calling, including increased work engagement (e.g., Dobrow Riza et al., 2019) and job performance (e.g., Park et al., 2016). However, a few studies have focused on the negative outcomes of calling, such as limited psychological detachment from work (Clinton et al., 2017). According to Work as Calling Theory (WCT; Duffy et al., 2018), psychological climate and individual differences may help to explain why some individuals who are living a calling may experience negative outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between living a calling and recovery experiences (i.e., psychological detachment, relaxation, mastery, and control; Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007). Using WCT (Duffy et al., 2018) as a theoretical lens, I proposed that individuals who are living a calling would experience greater work-recovery guilt (i.e., guilt experienced as a result of attempting to engage in recovery), and that this relationship would be stronger for those individuals who are working in an overwork climate (i.e., a work environment which encourages individuals to work more time than is required; Mazzetti et al., 2014) and for those individuals who experience persistent, uncontrollable thoughts about work (i.e., the cognitive dimension of workaholism; Clark et al., 2020). Further, I proposed that work-recovery guilt would partially mediate the negative relationship between living a calling and recovery experiences. Data were gathered at three time points two weeks apart using Prolific and proposed relationships were tested using path analyses. None of the hypothesized relationships were supported. These findings support the notion, proposed by Duffy et al. (2018), that living a calling at work should primarily be associated with positive, rather than negative, outcomes.


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