The impact of unemployment in relation to age and length of unemployment


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    The study investigated the impact of length of unemployment in two groups of unemployed men in Adelaide, South Australia. The two groups were selected so as to sample two different age ranges, 15 to 24 years and 30 to 49 years. Both groups completed scales concerned with job‐seeking activity, employment commitment, self‐esteem, psychological distress, use of time, and financial strain. The results indicated differences between the two age groups on some of these variables with more psychological distress, higher self‐esteem, and greater employment commitment reported by subjects in the older group. Correlations involving data for all subjects (both groups combined) showed that more financial strain, less time structure, less self‐esteem, and more psychological distress tended to accompany increasing length of unemployment but there was little evidence (apart from financial strain) that these relations were stronger for the older age group. In both groups employment commitment and financial strain acted as moderating influences on psychological distress. Results were related to findings from the Sheffield unemployment studies and it is suggested that future research involving different age groups would profit by more contact with theoretical frameworks and empirical findings from life‐span developmental psychology. 1987 The British Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-332
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Occupational Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1987


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