Leaving high school: The influence and consequences for psychological well-being and career-related confidence
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This paper examines the well-being and career decision-making self-efficacy of adolescents before and after leaving school, and tests for the changes in these variables as a result of leaving school. While at high school, 309 students were assessed on levels of school achievement, well-being (psychological distress, self-esteem, life satisfaction) and career decision-making self-efficacy. Nine months after leaving school, 168 of these students completed the above surveys and measures of their access to the latent (e.g., social contact, time structure) and manifest (i.e., financial) benefits of employment, and work commitment. At T2, 21% were full-time students, 35% were full-time students who were also working part-time, 22% were employed in full-time jobs, and 21% were in the labour market but not employed full-time. These groupings were differentiated at T2 on aspects of well-being, self-efficacy, and access to the latent and manifest benefits of work, and at T1 on aspects of well-being and confidence. Leaving school improved well-being and confidence for some. One group was disadvantaged by having poorer well-being while at school, which predisposed them to disadvantage in the labour market. Results are discussed in relation to models of well-being and drift/social causation.
Journal of Adolescence
Copyright 2003 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.