Congratulations to recent PhD graduate Atsushi Narisada on receiving the Best Dissertation Award in the Sociology of Mental Health section

June 26, 2020 by Tianyang Zheng

Congratulations to recent PhD graduate Atsushi Narisada who recently received the Best Dissertation Award for his thesis titled "The Social Antecedents and Consequences of the Sense of Distributive Justice." This award honours dissertations with excellence of writing and discussion in a sociological topic in the Sociology of Mental Health section in the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Professor Narisada is a recent PhD graduate at the University of Toronto. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His research focuses on mental health, work, and social justice.

We have posted the abstract and the citation of the thesis below.

The Social Antecedents and Consequences of the Sense of Distributive Injustice

Roughly half of working adults in Canada and the United States report a sense of distributive injustice––that their earnings are unjustly too low. This evidence provides an impetus to document the antecedents and consequences of the sense of distributive injustice. More specifically, it encourages us to examine two fundamental questions in the study of distributive justice: (1) What do people think is just and why? (2) And, what are the consequences of the sense of injustice for individuals? Using population-based data, I address these questions through an interdisciplinary lens by integrating perspectives in the social psychology of distributive justice, the sociology of mental health, and occupational health psychology. I assess the first question by fusing ideas in distributive justice and the work-family interface. I argue that the conceptualization of work-related inputs can be elaborated by considering the intersection of work and family roles. Specifically, I propose a model that delineates how excessive job pressures––and the ensuing role blurring behavior and work-to-family conflict––shape the expectation for greater rewards. My findings provide an updated account of the nature of work contributions for contemporary workers that shape their ideas of what they should justly earn. The second part of the dissertation examines the consequences of underreward, focusing on the situational factors that function as moderators. In one study, I show that the relationship between underreward and job dissatisfaction is contingent on forms of security, such that the association is attenuated for those with high job and financial security, and for those employed in the public sector. The interpretation of the patterns for job security encourages the integration of the Job Demands-Resources Model and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In another study, I examine the ways in which two dimensions of SES––education and income––moderate the effects of perceived underreward on mental and physical health. I test two competing hypotheses––buffering-resource and status-disconfirmation––that delineate the moderating role of SES. Taken together, this dissertation draws upon and integrates diverse theoretical perspectives to identify new forms of work-related contributions that shape perceptions of a fair reward and the situational factors that modify reactions to underreward.


Atsushi Narisada, “The Social Antecedents and Consequences of the Sense of Distributive Justice,” (November 2019): 1-163.

The thesis can be accessed through U of T Libraries

Read the full thesis here...