A longitudinal analysis of the effects of different patterns of employment and unemployment on school‐leavers

N. T. Feather, G. E. O'Brien

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    60 Citations (Scopus)


    Large samples of young employed and unemployed respondents in metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia, completed questionnaires on two occasions one year apart. A wide range of variables was assessed that included measures of aspects of the self‐concept, Protestant Ethic values, desired work values, stress symptoms, life satisfaction, unemployment disappointment, job need, employment value, external control and attributions for youth unemployment. There was little evidence from longitudinal analyses of change scores that a shift from employment to unemployment or the reverse transition had significant effects on psychological well‐being, but unemployment attributions were affected. The shift from employment to unemployment led to less internal and more external causal attributions for youth unemployment; the reverse transition had the opposite effects. Cross‐sectional comparisons of findings from the employed and unemployed samples replicated previous results that were consistent with the conclusion that many of the obtained differences were present when respondents were still at school. Variables assumed to reflect employment importance did not have moderating effects on psychological well‐being when employed and unemployed groups were compared in either longitudinal or cross‐sectional analyses but they were involved in significant associations with other measures. Results suggested the need for more empirical and conceptual analysis of the concepts of psychological well‐being and employment importance. 1986 The British Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)459-479
    Number of pages21
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1986


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