Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 203–222 | Cite as

Work-Related Demands Emanating from Social Change and Their Relation to Trait-Like and Occasion-Specific Aspects of Subjective Well-Being

  • Astrid KörnerEmail author
  • Rainer K. Silbereisen
  • Uwe Cantner
Article

Abstract

Following current macro-level social change people are increasingly confronted with new demands encompassing perceived uncertainties concerning their job and career prospects. Studies utilizing concurrent assessments showed that perceiving a high accumulation (“load”) of such demands is negatively related to individuals’ subjective well-being. Without further evidence the interpretation of the direction of these effects, however, is equivocal. Based on the concept that individuals have a rather stable trait-like level of subjective well-being from which they may vary when confronted with changes of the external ecology, the current study examined the relationship between the reported load of demands and subjective well-being assessed as general life satisfaction and average satisfaction in domains of life (i.e., family, work, finances, and leisure). We expected that a higher load of demands corresponds to a temporary decline in well-being, while at the same time differences in the stable trait-like level of well-being account for differences in the reported demand load. For the purpose of our study, we analyzed three annual waves of assessment of German adults aged between 18 and 43 years (N = 488). Utilizing a trait-state-occasion model, we separated trait-like aspects of well-being from occasion-specific deviations. Overall, our results confirmed our expectation that effects indeed run in both directions. The higher the reported load of work-related demands, the more respondents’ well-being negatively deviated from the stable trait-like level. Beyond that a higher trait-like level of well-being corresponded to a lower demand load. Both effects revealed almost equal strength and remained stable after controlling for participants’ employment status, family status, and educational attainment.

Keywords

Social change Work-related uncertainties Subjective well-being Life satisfaction Trait-state-occasion model 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a grant from the German Research Council (Project “Psychosocial resources and coping with social change,” PI Rainer K. Silbereisen) as part of the Collaborative Research Center SFB 580 “Social developments in post-socialist societies: Discontinuity, tradition, structural transformation.” The first author received a scholarship of the Jena Graduate School “Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change” (GSBC), funded by the Federal Program “ProExzellenz” of Thuringia.

References

  1. Allmendinger, J., & Ebner, C. (2006). Arbeitsmarkt und demografischer Wandel: Die Zukunft der Beschäftigung in Deutschland [Labor market and demographic change: The future of work in Germany]. Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie, 50(4), 227–239. doi: 10.1026/0932-4089.50.4.227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, T. E. (2005). Potential problems in the statistical control of variables in organizational research: A qualitative analysis with recommendations. Organizational Research Methods, 8(3), 274–289. doi: 10.1177/1094428105278021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cheng, G. H.-L., & Chan, D. K.-S. (2008). Who suffers more from job insecurity? A meta-analytic review. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57(2), 272–303. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00312.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cole, D. A., Martin, N. C., & Steiger, J. H. (2005). Empirical and conceptual problems with longitudinal trait-state models: Introducing a trait-state-occasion model. Psychological Methods, 10(1), 3–20. doi: 10.1037/1082-989x.10.1.3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Costa, P. T., McCrae, R. R., & Zonderman, A. B. (1987). Environmental and dispositional influences on well-being: Longitudinal follow-up of an American national sample. British Journal of Psychology, 78(3), 299–306. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1987.tb02248.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: Review of the international literature on definitions, prevalence, antecedents and consequences. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31(4), 1–6.Google Scholar
  7. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34–43. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.55.1.34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (1999). Personality and subjective well-being. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 213–229). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  9. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.125.2.276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ehrhardt, J. J., Saris, W. E., & Veenhoven, R. (2000). Stability of life-satisfaction over time: Analysis of change in ranks in a national population. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1(2), 177–205. doi: 10.1023/a:1010084410679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eid, M. (2008). Measuring the immeasurable: Psychometric modeling of subjective well-being data. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp. 141–167). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  12. Eid, M., Schneider, C., & Schwenkmezger, P. (1999). Do you feel better or worse? The validity of perceived deviations of mood states from mood traits. European Journal of Personality, 13(4), 283–306. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-0984(199907/08)13:4<283:aid-per341>3.0.co;2-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Elder, G. H. (1974). Children of the Great Depression: Social change in life experience. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Garst, H., Frese, M., & Molenaar, P. C. M. (2000). The temporal factor of change in stressor-strain relationships: A growth curve model on a longitudinal study in East Germany. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(3), 417–438. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.85.3.417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gorgievski-Duijvesteijn, M. J., Bakker, A. B., Schaufeli, W. B., & van der Heijden, P. G. M. (2005). Finances and well-being: A dynamic equilibrium model of resources. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 10(3), 210–224. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.10.3.210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grümer, S., & Pinquart, M. (2011). Perceived changes in personal circumstances related to social change: Associations with psychosocial resources and depressive symptoms. European Psychologist, 16(1), 68–78. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Headey, B., & Wearing, A. (1989). Personality, life events, and subjective well-being: Toward a dynamic equilibrium model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(4), 731–739. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.57.4.731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hobfoll, S. E. (2001). The influence of culture, community, and the nested-self in the stress process: Advancing Conservation of Resources theory. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 50(3), 337–370. doi: 10.1111/1464-0597.00062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hofäcker, D., Buchholz, S., & Blossfeld, H.-P. (2010). Globalization, institutional filters and changing life course. Patterns in modern societies: A summary of the results from the GLOBALIFE-Project. In R. K. Silbereisen & X. Chen (Eds.), Social change and human development (pp. 101–124). Los Angeles: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hu, L.-t, & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55. doi: 10.1080/10705519909540118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kalleberg, A. L. (2009). Precarious work, insecure workers: Employment relations in transition. American Sociological Review, 74(1), 1–22. doi: 10.1177/000312240907400101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kohn, M. L., & Schooler, C. (1982). Job conditions and personality: A longitudinal assessment of their reciprocal effects. American Journal of Sociology, 87(6), 1257–1286. doi: 10.1086/227593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Körner, A., Reitzle, M., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2012). Work-related demands and life satisfaction: The effects of engagement and disengagement among employed and long-term unemployed people. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(1), 187–196. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2011.05.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  25. Lucas, R. E. (2007). Adaptation and the set-point model of subjective well-being: Does happiness change after major life events? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(2), 75–79. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00479.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lucas, R. E., & Donnellan, M. B. (2007). How stable is happiness? Using the STARTS model to estimate the stability of life satisfaction. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(5), 1091–1098. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2006.11.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lykken, D., & Tellegen, A. (1996). Happiness is a stochastic phenomenon. Psychological Science, 7(3), 186–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.1996.tb00355.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lyubomirsky, S. (2001). Why are some people happier than others? The role of cognitive and motivational processes in well-being. American Psychologist, 56(3), 239–249. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.56.3.239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803–855. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lyubomirsky, S., & Tucker, K. L. (1998). Implications of individual differences in subjective happiness for perceiving, interpreting, and thinking about life events. Motivation and Emotion, 22(2), 155–186. doi: 10.1023/a:1021396422190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Möller, J., & Schmillen, A. (2008). Verteilung von Arbeitslosigkeit im Erwerbsleben: Hohe Konzentration auf wenige — Steigendes Risiko für alle [Allocation of unemployment during working life] IAB-Kurzbericht, 4/2008, 1–8.Google Scholar
  32. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2010). Mplus user’s guide (6th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  33. Pinquart, M., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2004). Human development in times of social change: Theoretical considerations and research needs. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28(4), 289–298. doi: 10.1080/01650250344000406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pinquart, M., Silbereisen, R. K., & Körner, A. (2009). Perceived work-related demands associated with social change, control strategies, and psychological well-being: Do associations vary by regional economic conditions? Evidence from Germany. European Psychologist, 14(3), 207–219. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040.14.3.207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rohrbach-Schmidt, D., & Tiemann, M. (2011). Mismatching and job tasks in Germany: Rising over-qualification through polarization? Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 3(1), 39–53.Google Scholar
  36. Roskies, E., Louis-Guerin, C., & Fournier, C. (1993). Coping with job insecurity: How does personality make a difference? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14(7), 617–630. doi: 10.1002/job.4030140702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sameroff, A. J. (2000). Developmental systems and psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 12(3), 297–312. doi: 10.1017/s0954579400003035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schimmack, U. (2009). Well-being: Measuring wellbeing in the SOEP. Schmollers Jahrbuch, 129, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schimmack, U., Krause, P., Wagner, G. G., & Schupp, J. (2010). Stability and change of well being: An experimentally enhanced latent state-trait-error analysis. Social Indicators Research, 95(1), 19–31. doi: 10.1007/s11205-009-9443-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Silbereisen, R. K., Pinquart, M., Reitzle, M., Tomasik, M. J., Fabel, K., & Grümer, S. (2006). Psychosocial resources and coping with social change (SFB 580 Mitteilungen Band 19) (SFB 580 Mitteilungen Band 19). Jena, Germany: Sonderforschungsbereich 580.Google Scholar
  41. Silbereisen, R. K., & Tomasik, M. J. (2011). Mapping demands of social change (LLAKES Research Paper No. 21). London: Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies.Google Scholar
  42. Spector, P. E., & Brannick, M. T. (2011). Methodological urban legends: The misuse of statistical control variables. Organizational Research Methods, 14(2), 287–305. doi: 10.1177/1094428110369842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Spector, P. E., Zapf, D., Chen, P. Y., & Frese, M. (2000). Why negative affectivity should not be controlled in job stress research: Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21(1), 79–95. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1379(200002)21:1<79:aid-job964>3.0.co;2-g.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stones, M. J., Hadjistavropoulos, T., Tuuko, H., & Kozma, A. (1995). Happiness has traitlike and statelike properties: A reply to Veenhoven. Social Indicators Research, 36(2), 129–144. doi: 10.1007/bf01079722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Suh, E., Diener, E., & Fujita, F. (1996). Events and subjective well-being: Only recent events matter. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(5), 1091–1102. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.70.5.1091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2002). No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(3), 242–264. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.7.3.242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Taylor, S. E., & Brown, J. D. (1994). Positive illusions and well-being revisited: Separating fact from fiction. Psychological Bulletin, 116(1), 21–27. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.116.1.21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tomasik, M. J., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2009). Demands of social change as a function of the political context, institutional filters, and psychosocial resources. Social Indicators Research, 94(1), 13–28. doi: 10.1007/s11205-008-9332-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Veenhoven, R. (1994). Is happiness a trait? Tests of the theory that a better society does not make people any happier. Social Indicators Research, 32(2), 101–160. doi: 10.1007/bf01078732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. von der Heyde, C., & Loeffler, U. (1993). Die ADM-Stichprobe [The ADM sample]. Planung und Analyse, 20, 49–53.Google Scholar
  51. Wagner, G. G., Burkhauser, R. V., & Behringer, F. (1993). The English language public use file of the German Socio-Economic Panel. The Journal of Human Resources, 28(2), 429–433.Google Scholar
  52. Zapf, D., Dormann, C., & Frese, M. (1996). Longitudinal studies in organizational stress research: A review of the literature with reference to methodological issues. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 1(2), 145–169. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.1.2.145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid Körner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rainer K. Silbereisen
    • 1
  • Uwe Cantner
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Developmental Psychology and Center for Applied Developmental ScienceFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Marketing and ManagementUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

Personalised recommendations