Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Kenneth S. Shultz, Ph.D.


In the present research I investigated the impact ageism has on older employees’ occupational self-efficacy, and whether social support could decrease or change the strength of the relationship. Another goal of the present study was to assess if age and occupational self-efficacy had a linear relationship. Considering that older workers are often targeted by instances of ageism, this study focused on the ageist experiences of employees who were 40 years or older. A sample size of 208 MTurk workers participated in the online survey. Respondents were asked to answer questions relating to their experiences of ageism in work the workplace, level of self-efficacy, quantity and quality of social support, and psychological capital. A total of five highly reliable and valid scales were utilized to test three hypotheses: The initial hypothesis predicted that older employees (65 or older) will exhibit higher self-efficacy levels than their younger coworkers (40 to 64); Hypothesis 2 stated experiences of ageism will mediate the relationship between age and level of self-efficacy; and Hypothesis 3 stated social support will moderate the mediating relationship between experiences of ageism and perceptions of self-efficacy. From the 208 respondents who participated in the study, 49.2% consisted of individuals who ranged in age from 50 to 59, 67.0% of respondents were women, 84.2% were Caucasian. Results revealed that there is a positive linear relationship between employee age and occupational self-efficacy; additionally, ageism was not a significant mediator for the relationship between age and self-efficacy; lastly, social support does significantly moderate the relationship between ageism and occupational self-efficacy. Limitations and future research are explicated.