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

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

10

Overview

This final chapter will present a discussion of the study and its findings, and then attempt to draw some conclusions. Finally, we will discuss the implications of these, both for further research and for practical strategies in dealing with unemployment in an uncertain future.


DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS

The first general conclusion to emerge is that psychologically, unemployment is a very complex phenomenon. It certainly has some negative consequences, but they are by no means uniform and answers to any of the questions that we have raised are not clear cut.

If the findings themselves are not straightforward, then any recommendations for education or policy are likely to be even less so. Armed with all the information we have gathered, what suggestions can we make? The best we can do is to indicate possible courses of action rather than make firm recommendations.


Work attitudes

Our respondents expressed very positive attitudes to work throughout the study (Chapter 3) and, as mentioned earlier, roughly 90 per cent of those in jobs expressed overall satisfaction with their jobs.

We did not find, as others have done, that employment commitment is a moderating factor in coping with unemployment (Jackson, Stafford, Banks and Warr, 1983). This was a somewhat surprising finding because intuitively it seems likely that a person who is strongly committed to work should find it harder to cope with being unemployed than someone who is not so strongly committed. This result might have been due to the fact that employment commitment was not measured until after our respondents had left school (from 1984). Consequently it is possible that the employment commitment

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