Positive leadership
: o navigate the future workforce by addressing anxiety and self-efficacy in Millennials and Generation Z

  • Medea Leona Rigel (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This study addresses the rising levels of anxiety observed among Millennials and Generation Z individuals. The research aims to improve our understanding of the factors that influence the wellbeing of these cohorts, who make up a significant proportion of the workforce. A key focus is to explore the potential of positive leadership to positively influence mental health through the lens of self-efficacy. A total of N=167 participants with an average age of 27.81 years, mostly working full time (N=62, 37.1%) or as working students (N=54, 32.2%), with the majority perceiving the quality of management and leadership as extremely important (N=84, 50.3%). The study therefore tested the difference in well-being between generations (Generation Z, Millennials and predecessors born before 1980) and the relationship between anxiety and self-efficacy, as well as the correlation between the importance of leadership quality and the PERMA-Lead traits in relation to positive self-belief in Millennials and Generation Z. The results show clear differences in the importance of leadership quality and the PERMA-Lead traits in relation to positive selfbelief in Millennials and Generation Z. The results of the study show clear differences in well-being between Millennials and Generation Z compared to previous generations, with the former showing lower levels of well-being, and confirm that anxiety is a significant predictor of lower self-efficacy in these groups, indicating the negative impact of anxiety on self-belief. Descriptive results show that positive leadership traits appear to have a consistent impact on self-belief across generations, offering potential avenues for enhancing wellbeing. The results also show a highly significant relationship between leadership quality and PERMA-Lead characteristics for Millennials and Generation Z. Overall, the findings contribute to the wider discourse on well-being in today's workforce and highlight the importance of positive leadership in reducing anxiety and increasing self-efficacy in younger generations.
Date of Award19 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLeonor Almeida (Supervisor)


  • Millennials
  • Generation Z
  • Well-being
  • Anxiety
  • Self-efficacy
  • Positive leadership
  • PERMA-Lead


  • Mestrado em Psicologia na Gestão e Economia

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