Get access

The Moderating Role of Social Support Between Role Stressors and Job Attitudes Among Roman Catholic Priests1


  • 1

    The authors thank Sister Janet Doyle for her assistance throughout this study. Shahnaz Aziz is now affiliated with East Carolina University, and John Wryobeck is now affiliated with the University of Michigan.

Michael J. Zickar, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403. E-mail:


This study examined the relations role stressors and job attitudinal variables, as well as the potential moderating effects of social support in a sample of 190 Roman Catholic priests. The priesthood is an important occupation to study because the work priests do can be considered a vocation instead of a job. Role stressors were negatively correlated with job attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction, turnover intention). Consistent with a buffering hypothesis, several sources of social support (parishioners, staff, fellow priests) consistently moderated this relationship, in that the relationship attenuated as social support increased. The implications of these results are discussed with respect to the role of the priest, as well as with other types of work-based vocations.