Are insecure jobs as bad for mental health and occupational commitment as unemployment? Equal threat or downward spiral
Kathleen Otto & Claudia Dalbert
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. https://doi.org/10.20419/2013.22.375
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