A Lengthy Look at the Daily Grind: Time Series Analysis of Events, Mood, Stress, and Satisfaction

The present study investigated processes by which job stress and satisfaction unfold over time by examining the relations between daily stressful events, mood, and these variables. Using a Web-based daily survey of stressor events, perceived strain, mood, and job satisfaction completed by 14 university workers, 1,060 occasions of data were collected. Transfer function analysis, a multivariate version of time series analysis, was used to examine the data for relationships among the measured variables after factoring out the contaminating influences of serial dependency. Results revealed a contrast effect in which a stressful event associated positively with higher strain on the same day and associated negatively with strain on the following day. Perceived strain increased over the course of a semester for a majority of participants, suggesting that effects of stress build over time. Finally, the data were consistent with the notion that job satisfaction is a distal outcome that is mediated by perceived strain.