Understanding the Effect of Procedural Justice on Psychological Distress

Other Titles
Studies on the effect of procedural justice on psychological distress present conflicting results. Drawing on instrumental and relational perspectives of justice, we test the hypothesis that the perception of procedural justice influences the level of workers’ psychological distress. Using a number of validated instruments to collected data from 659 workers in three call centers, we use OLS regressions and Hayes’ PROCESS tool to show that the perception of procedural justice has a direct, unique, and independent effect on psychological distress. The perception of procedural justice has no instrumental role, the key mechanism being the relational role, suggesting that perceived injustice influences psychological distress because it threatens self-esteem. Distributive justice perceptions (recognition, promotions, job security) are not associated with psychological distress, calling into question Siegrist’s model. Our findings suggest that perceived procedural justice provides workers better evidence of the extent to which they are valued and appreciated members of their organizations than do perceptions of distributive justice. The results highlight the greater need for workers to be valued and appreciated for who they are (consideration and esteem), rather than for what they do for their organization (distributive justice of rewards).
Journal / Series
Volume & Issue
This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the International Journal of Stress Management. It is not the copy of record.
Date Issued
Effective Date
Expiration Date
Union Local
Number of Workers
Committee Chair
Committee Co-Chair
Committee Member
Degree Discipline
Degree Name
Degree Level
Related Version
Related To
Related Part
Based on Related Item
Has Other Format(s)
Part of Related Item
Related To
Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Reference(s)
Previously Published As
Government Document
Other Identifiers
Required Publisher Statement: © 2017 American Psychological Association. Published as Cloutier, J., Vilhuber, L., Harrisson, D., & Béland-Ouellette, V. (2018). Understanding the effect of procedural justice on psychological distress. International Journal of Stress Management, 25(3), 283-300. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/str0000065
Rights URI
Accessibility Feature
Accessibility Hazard
Accessibility Summary
Link(s) to Catalog Record