The role of attributions in reactions to job relocation

Robin Martin, Desmond J. Leach, Paul Norman, Joanne Silvester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Job relocation refers to the process of simultaneously moving to a new job and house and this can cause considerable stress for the relocator and his/her family. Based upon an attributional analysis, we predicted that negative psychological reactions would be a function of (1) number of relocation problems, and (2) making pessimistic attributions for relocation problems (that is, the tendency to attribute negative events to internal, stable and global causes). Furthermore, these factors should interact, such that individuals with many relocation problems who also make pessimistic attributions will experience the worst psychological reactions. The results from a cross-sectional survey of 93 relocators supported these predictions. As expected, those relocators who had many relocation problems and made pessimistic attributions reported the worst mental health and relocation-specific stress. In addition, a reanalysis of a longitudinal study of relocators by Martin (1996) also supported the above predictions using attributions of perceived control. Furthermore, the relocators predicted to be most at risk (many problems}/low control) reported the worst changes in mental health during the course of the move.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • pessimistic attributions
  • jobrelocation attributional analysis
  • perceived control


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