The effect of trait death anxiety on job involvement, organizational citizenship behavior, and turnover intentions in low mortality cue jobs

Joshua J Stafford, Purdue University


Death anxiety is a concept that has received little empirical attention in the organizational psychology literature. Research has found that trait death anxiety is associated with burnout, and lower work engagement in jobs with high mortality cues. However, most people do not work in jobs where they are constantly reminded of death. The present study sought to examine the effects of trait death anxiety on employees working in low-mortality cue jobs. Using terror management theory as a foundation, I predicted that those higher in trait death anxiety would be more involved in their jobs, resulting in higher levels of organizational citizenship behavior and lower turnover intentions. In addition, I hypothesized that the relationship between trait death anxiety and job involvement will be moderated by need for achievement. This model was tested using a two time-point study, utilizing participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Results revealed a positive relationship between death anxiety and job involvement, and a negative relationship between death anxiety and turnover intentions mediated by job involvement. However, no significant relationships were found in regards to organizational citizenship behavior or need for achievement. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.




Williams, Purdue University.

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