The Anticipatory Psychological Contract. The effect of anticipation of fulfillment of the psychological contract on job stress and the moderating effect of age.

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This study aims to investigate the relationship between the anticipation of fulfillment of the anticipatory psychological contract (APC) and job stress. Next to this direct relationship, also a moderating effect of age was tested. Different studies already showed a significant relationship between the psychological contract, stress and age. However, this study will contribute to the literature by investigating this relationship with a new concept: anticipation of fulfillment of the anticipatory psychological contract. Two studies were combined to investigate the relationship. First, a cross-sectional field study was done (173 respondents) and after that an experimental vignette study was done (209 respondents) to gather data. To test the hypotheses, explorative factor analysis and reliability had to be done first. Thereafter, a multiple linear regression was used to analyze the gathered data. The results were almost the same for the two studies. Both the field study and the experimental vignette study found a significant negative relationship between the anticipation of fulfillment of the APC and job stress, which means that the first hypothesis is accepted. Next to this, the second hypothesis cannot be accepted: both studies found no direct and no moderating relationship with age. Key words: job stress, anticipation of fulfillment, anticipatory psychological contract, age.
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