Psychological distress in the labour market: Shame or deprivation?
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This study examined the relative efficacy of two environmental/job characteristic models (financial hardship/shaming and deprivation) that have been proposed to account for the negative well-being effects for people in the labour market. A sample of 258 labour market participants, comprising 125 unemployed and 133 full-time employed individuals, were administered scales tapping well-being, financial distress, shame and the latent benefits of employment (social support, collective purpose, activity, time structure, status). Consistent with prediction, the unemployed sample had poorer well-being, more shame and financial distress, and had less access to all latent benefits, except for social support. Inconsistent with both the financial hardship/shaming and deprivation models, shame accounted for a modest amount of variance in well-being, and only one latent variable (status) was a significant individual predictor. Social support and activity did not mediate the effects of shame and financial distress on well-being, and shame did not interact with financial distress to predict well-being, as expected. Financial distress was the most important and consistent predictor of well-being, which is best explained by agency restriction models, rather than the two models tested. Implications for explaining well-being in labour market participants are highlighted.
Australian Journal of Psychology
© 2006 Taylor & Francis. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link to the publisher version.