Growing Up with Unemployment: A Longitudinal Study of Its Psychological Impact

By Anthony H. Winefield; Marika Tiggemann et al. | Go to book overview

7

Predictors of employment status and tertiary education

INTRODUCTION

Earlier chapters have documented that, relative to the employed, the young unemployed suffer a reduction in psychological well-being. People who continue as students into further education seem somewhere in between. The very act of leaving school and moving into whatever future, seems to carry considerable significance.

The major focus of this chapter is to see whether or not we are able to predict which students will subsequently become employed or unemployed (or continue onto further study), before this actually happens. Our prospective longitudinal research design enables us to test this, because we have information on the students while they are still at school. Moreover, this information is much more easily collected than it would be after students have left school.

Should we be able to predict future employment status, and particularly should we be able to identify individuals vulnerable to unemployment whilst they are still at school, then this 'at risk' group can perhaps be given special attention. The findings should be of practical value in providing feedback to school counsellors and guidance officers. Suggestions can be made as to what advice should be given to students and what sorts of preparation should be included in final year courses.


PREDICTORS OF UNEMPLOYMENT

We have already mentioned that current unemployment in Australia (and in most of the Western world) tends to be concentrated in the younger age groups, the people on whom this study focuses. A number of studies, however, have shown that there are other background and situational characteristics also associated with a disproportionately high unemployment rate. For example, young females, especially those who have left school

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