Service Workers’ Well-Being During COVID-19: A Strengths-Based Inclusive Theory of Work Perspective

Rhea L. Owens, Erika E. Meierding, Blake A. Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study tested the Strengths-Based Inclusive Theory of Work (S-BIT of Work), a vocational theory that emphasizes positive psychological and cultural factors, among a sample of service industry workers during COVID-19. Service industry workers (N = 320) were recruited via social media sources across the United States, and structural equation modeling was used to examine the model. This model included privilege and COVID-19 impact as contextual variables; organizational support and workplace dignity as promotive workplace variables; hope, strengths use, adaptability, empowerment, and perceived COVID-19 threat as individual variables; and fulfilling work and psychological distress as outcome variables. Privilege and workplace dignity were identified as particularly important variables; results suggested privilege was positively associated with a promotive work context and negatively related to psychological distress. Additionally, the greater the amount of privilege and dignity the service industry workers experienced, the greater their positive individual characteristics were able to flourish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-407
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author received financial support from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s new faculty start-up funds that supported conducting this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • fulfilling work
  • positive psychology
  • strengths
  • vocational psychology
  • well-being

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Service Workers’ Well-Being During COVID-19: A Strengths-Based Inclusive Theory of Work Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this