Length of unemployment and psychological distress: Longitudinal and cross-sectional data

Anthony H. Winefield, Marika Tiggemann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Data are presented from the second stage of a longitudinal study of unemployed young people, when their ages ranged from 19 to 24 yr. Data from the first stage, when their ages ranged from 16 to 20 yr, had provided support for a curvilinear hypothesis relating psychological distress or affective well-being, to unemployment duration. According to the curvilinear hypothesis, distress peaks at around 6 months and declines thereafter. In the present study three target groups were distinguished: those unemployed for 3 months or less, those unemployed from 4 to 8 months, and those unemployed for 9 months or more. On most of the dependent measures the 3 month, and 4-8 month groups did not differ, but the 9 month group was significantly worse off than either. It is concluded that the relations between length of unemployment and psychological distress, or well-being, are different in teenagers and young adults. Possible explanations for the differences are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)461-465
    Number of pages5
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Volume31
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1990

    Keywords

    • affective well-being
    • length of unemployment
    • psychological distress

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