Looking for employment: An expectancy–valence analysis of job‐seeking behaviour among young people

N. T. Feather, Gordon O'Brien

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    54 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract


    Frequency of job seeking was investigated in a study of 320 young unemployed men and women in Adelaide, South Australia. Subscales defining each person's expectation of finding a job (control‐optimism) and the perceived attractiveness or desirability of employment (job valence) were constructed on the basis of a factor analysis. It was predicted that job‐seeking behaviour would be positively related to the expectation and valence measures both singly and in combination. The results showed that (1) the young people's job seeking was positively related to their perceived desirability of being employed, to their negative feelings about being employed, to the length of time they had been unemployed and to the number of job applications they made, but unrelated to control–optimism; (2) their perceived desirability of being employed was positively related to their endorsement of the work ethic; (3) their expectations of finding work were inversely related to length of time unemployed and to the number of job applications made; (4) the number of job applications they made was positively related to the length of time unemployed; (5) females reported greater parental support than did males. These results were replicated with a second sample of 131 young unemployed people. Results for both samples were further analysed by using path analysis and multiple regression procedures. The main findings were discussed in relation to expectancy‐valence theory, to research on controllability, to sex‐role differences and to the need to take account of dynamic processes that influence behaviour over time. 1987 The British Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-272
    Number of pages22
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
    Volume78
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 1987

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Looking for employment: An expectancy–valence analysis of job‐seeking behaviour among young people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this