Title of Abstract

The Effect of COVID Priming on Adults' Expectations of Workplace Accommodations

Poster Number

25

Session Title

Poster Session 1

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

We examined how COVID-19 experiences related to workplace entitlement and expectations. We hypothesized that adults who were primed to think about their negative, versus positive or neutral, experiences with COVID-19 would exhibit higher entitlement at and expect more mental health assistance from their workplace. Participants were 102 adults with a mean age of 29.46 (SD=12.57). The majority were women (65%), and almost evenly divided between Caucasian and African American adults. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, where they wrote about a positive or negative thing that happened to them during COVID-19, or a control condition where they wrote a self-description. Then, participants responded to scales to assess entitlement, mental health, and self-efficacy. Our hypothesis was not supported. Instead, we found patterns of entitlement that were based on demographic categories. Increased workplace entitlement was characteristic of younger and poorer adults. Increased expectations for mental health accommodations were characteristic of liberally political adults. Increased presence of both of these variables (workplace entitlement and expectations for mental health accommodations in the workplace) were characteristic of Caucasian adults and adults with lower mental health. In other words, we found that people struggling with mental health concerns wanted, and felt they had a right to, a workplace that would support them, and politically liberal adults supported employee’s rights to have these accommodations. Caucasians also desired a workplace that would support mental health accommodations, along with feeling personally entitled in the workplace. This combination may reflect an expression for continued privilege.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The Effect of COVID Priming on Adults' Expectations of Workplace Accommodations

We examined how COVID-19 experiences related to workplace entitlement and expectations. We hypothesized that adults who were primed to think about their negative, versus positive or neutral, experiences with COVID-19 would exhibit higher entitlement at and expect more mental health assistance from their workplace. Participants were 102 adults with a mean age of 29.46 (SD=12.57). The majority were women (65%), and almost evenly divided between Caucasian and African American adults. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, where they wrote about a positive or negative thing that happened to them during COVID-19, or a control condition where they wrote a self-description. Then, participants responded to scales to assess entitlement, mental health, and self-efficacy. Our hypothesis was not supported. Instead, we found patterns of entitlement that were based on demographic categories. Increased workplace entitlement was characteristic of younger and poorer adults. Increased expectations for mental health accommodations were characteristic of liberally political adults. Increased presence of both of these variables (workplace entitlement and expectations for mental health accommodations in the workplace) were characteristic of Caucasian adults and adults with lower mental health. In other words, we found that people struggling with mental health concerns wanted, and felt they had a right to, a workplace that would support them, and politically liberal adults supported employee’s rights to have these accommodations. Caucasians also desired a workplace that would support mental health accommodations, along with feeling personally entitled in the workplace. This combination may reflect an expression for continued privilege.