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Horizons of Psychology :: Psihološka obzorja

Scientific and Professional Psychological Journal of the Slovenian Psychologists' Association

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Are insecure jobs as bad for mental health and occupational commitment as unemployment? Equal threat or downward spiral

Kathleen Otto & Claudia Dalbert

pdf Full text (pdf)  |  Views: 119  |  flagWritten in English.  |  Published: January 23, 2014

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Abstract: We investigated the significance of unemployment and job insecurity for mental health (self-esteem; life satisfaction) and occupational commitment (occupational self-efficacy; affective occupational commitment) comparing the "equal threat" assumption with the "downward spiral" assumption. Whereas the equal threat model suggests that unemployment and (perceived) insecure employment are similarly threatening phenomena, the downward spiral model assumes that there might be a spectrum of employment insecurity, ranging from secure employment to long-term unemployment, that is associated with decreasing mental health and occupational commitment. Controlling for socio-demographic background variables and personality traits, results of ANCOVAs, in which we distinguished between workers who were (more or less) securely employed and those who were either insecurely employed or short- or long-term unemployed revealed that the insecurely employed workers were no better off than those who were (short-term) unemployed - in line with the equal threat hypothesis. Only for occupational self-efficacy did we find some support for the downward spiral model.

Keywords: unemployment, job security, mental health, organizational commitment, occupational self-efficacy

Otto, K., & Dalbert, C. (2013). Are insecure jobs as bad for mental health and occupational commitment as unemployment? Equal threat or downward spiral. Psihološka obzorja, 22, 27–38.

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Cited By via CrossRef (6)

The joint impact of microeconomic parameters and job insecurity perceptions on commitment towards one’s job, occupation and career: A multilevel approach
       Kathleen Otto, Gisela Mohr, Maria U Kottwitz, Sabine Korek
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Age and career commitment: Meta-analytic tests of competing linear versus curvilinear relationships
       Ian M. Katz, Cort W. Rudolph, Hannes Zacher
       Journal of Vocational Behavior, 2019

Children of Mentally III Parents at Risk Evaluation (COMPARE): Design and Methods of a Randomized Controlled Multicenter Study—Part I
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Two sides of workplace interactions: How appreciation and social stressors shape the relationship between job insecurity and well-being
       Mauricio E. Garrido Vásquez, Patricia Garrido-Vásquez, Kathleen Otto
       Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 2020

Caught Between Autonomy and Insecurity: A Work-Psychological View on Resources and Strain of Small Business Owners in Germany
       Kathleen Otto, Martin Mabunda Baluku, Lena Hünefeld, Maria U. Kottwitz
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Maintaining High Eudaimonic Wellbeing Despite Ambiguity Intolerance Among Three Employment Status Groups: Examining the Buffering Effects of Positive Psychological Attributes
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