Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Alyssa K. McGonagle


Chronic pain is prevalent, affecting an estimated 116 million Americans (Jensen & Turk, 2014), and it is one of the leading causes of work-related disability in the U.S. (Sprigg, Stride, Wall, Holman, & Smith, 2007). Therefore, pain interference at work is an important topic for organizational researchers, yet there is currently a lack of research in this area. Drawing on theory related workplace stress and the chronic pain literature, I proposed a model in which fluctuation in pain interference with work is related to negative affective responses, above and beyond daily fluctuations in pain severity, which, in turn, manifests in end-of-day exhaustion for workers. Participants (N = 86 full-time workers with chronic pain) completed two surveys per day for five consecutive workdays, resulting in N = 860 measurement occasions measuring pain interference with work, pain severity, negative affect, and emotional exhaustion. Results from a multi-level path analysis revealed that negative emotional reactions mediated the relationship between pain interference and daily exhaustion, and that the effects of pain interference persist

above and beyond those of pain severity, as expected. Additionally, I examined possible moderators (buffers) of this process (i.e. coworker and supervisor support); however, no evidence of moderation was found. Future research may explore other moderators including individual factors, such as coping, and organizational factors (e.g., work conditions, wellness programs, etc.) in order to inform workplace interventions.