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Duration of unemployment and psychological well-being in young men and women

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Previous research has typically failed to support the plausible expectation that lower psychological well-being accompanies longer unemployment. Two cohorts of recent school-leavers were interviewed over two years, and five data sets were available for investigation. Measures of both psychological distress and self-esteem were found to be uncorrelated with duration of unemployment for young men. For young women no relationships with self-esteem were observed, and in one cohort longer female unemployment was associated with lower distress. This was shown to be due to women's withdrawal from the labour market because of pregnancy and child care. It is suggested that the expected association between duration and well-being may be restricted to older samples and longer periods out of work.

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Warr, P., Jackson, P. & Banks, M. Duration of unemployment and psychological well-being in young men and women. Current Psychological Research 2, 207–214 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03186762

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  • Psychological Distress
  • General Health Questionnaire
  • Unemployment Duration
  • Employment Commitment
  • General Health Questionnaire Score