A longitudinal study of the psychological effects of unemployment and unsatisfactory employment on young adults

Anthony H. Winefield, Helen R. Winefield, Marika Tiggemann, Robert D. Goldney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    105 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In a longitudinal study of school leavers, four occupational groups-satisfied employed, dissatisfied employed, unemployed, and tertiary students-were compared on a range of psychological measures. Initially, there were no group differences with respect to measures or demographic characteristics, making interpretation of later differences easier and suggesting a causal connection between employment status and psychological well-being. In longitudinal analyses, the satisfied employed and students showed higher self-esteem, less depressive affect, less externality, and less negative mood than the dissatisfied employed and unemployed. Similar cross-sectional differences were observed on social alienation, hopelessness, psychological distress, and life satisfaction. Longitudinal differences were due to improvements by the satisfied employed and/or student groups, not to deterioration by the other groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)424-431
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
    Volume76
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1991

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