Why bother to ‘downshift’? The characteristics and satisfaction of downshifters in the Brisbane-South East Queensland region, Australia
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- Chhetri, P., Khan, A., Stimson, R. et al. J Pop Research (2009) 26: 51. doi:10.1007/s12546-008-9005-y
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Using the data collected as part of a Quality of Life (QoL) survey in the Brisbane-South East Queensland region (SEQ) of Australia, this paper examines differences in satisfaction levels between downshifters and non-downshifters, and identifies socio-economic predictors of the downshifting phenomenon. Almost 30% of survey respondents are classified as downshifters. Multivariate Analysis of Covariance reveals significant differences between downshifters and non-downshifters in a number of life-satisfaction domains, although the degree to which they were satisfied with their life before downshifting is unknown. Analysis of Covariance shows that downshifters reported a significantly lower level of satisfaction than non-downshifters, especially with respect to satisfaction with the amount of money available to them, independence or freedom, and employment. Multivariate logistic regression analysis reveals that post-secondary education and employment were positively associated with downshifting, while age was significantly associated with downshifting. It is argued that if downshifting is associated with lower levels of satisfaction, intervention may be required to initiate programs to engage downshifters more fully in the workforce by facilitating more flexible work arrangements and an improved working environment.