This dissertation brings attention to two concepts that I label mistreatment anticipation and mistreatment anxiety. Similar constructs are implied in prior occupational stress research, and they are popularly understood by workers in the hospitality industry and other customer-facing workplace settings. However, they have not been directly studied in the empirical work psychology literature. In Study 1, I develop theory on the meaning of these two constructs and develop reliable survey measures of them using a sample of 242 laid-off and furloughed hospitality workers reporting their return-to-work concerns. In Study 2, I test causes, consequences, and moderators that distinguish the two constructs using a sample of customer-facing employees current working in the hospitality industry. I find that hospitality workers' past experiences with mistreatment predicted their mistreatment anticipation and, in turn, their mistreatment anxiety. Mistreatment anxiety was particularly high for workers who had high mistreatment anticipation and whose jobs involved customer satisfaction ratings of service. Mistreatment anxiety predicted workers' subsequent emotional exhaustion. Results suggest that direct mistreatment cues can impact workers' mistreatment anticipation and, in addition, mistreatment anxiety results in emotional strain. Also based on these results, I advise that employers eliminate or reduce the impact of customer ratings in service contexts and take efforts to reduce customer mistreatment.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Industrial and Organizational
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
DiStaso, Michael, "Mistreatment Anticipation and Mistreatment Anxiety" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1727.
Restricted to the UCF community until June 2026; it will then be open access.