How adults and children perceive the impact of social policies connected to unemployment on well-being in the household: a concept mapping approach

  • Lucia BosakovaEmail author
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
  • Carme Borrell
  • Zuzana Hajduova
  • Jitse P. van Dijk
  • Sijmen A. Reijneveld
Original article



Social policies help people to overcome various unfavourable living situations, such as unemployment, which may lead to health inequalities. The aim of this study is to examine how adults and children perceive the impact of social policies connected to unemployment on well-being in the household, and whether their views differ.


We obtained data from 123 stakeholders in Slovakia, 96 adults and 27 children aged 11–15 years. We used concept mapping, based on qualitative data collection and quantitative data analysis.


We obtained four clusters related to: children and education; current workforce; disadvantaged groups; labour office support. Adults rated the current workforce as the most important and urgent, and children the disadvantaged groups. Contrasts were largest on the disadvantaged groups and on combining family life and working abroad which children rated as very important and urgent but adults less so.


Stakeholders had many perceptions, which may help to improve social policies. Adults were more concerned about work, and children were more so about inequalities. In general, adults were more practical and individualistic, and children, more emphatic and idealistic.


Unemployment Social policies Health inequalities Concept mapping 



This work was funding from the 7FP SOPHIE Project (Evaluating the impact of structural policies on health inequalities and their social determinants and fostering change) under the grant agreement No. 278173. This work was also supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under contract no. APVV-15-0012. It was also supported by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, under Contract No. VEGA 1/0981/15.


The funders had no role in the study design, data collection or analysis, or in the decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine at Safarik University in Kosice under no. 104/2011 and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

38_2019_1304_MOESM1_ESM.docx (47 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 47 kb)


  1. Adler NE, Newman K (2002) Socioeconomic disparities in health: pathways and policies. Inequality in education, income, and occupation exacerbates the gaps between the health “haves” and “have-nots”. Health Aff 21:60–76. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adumitroaie E, Dafinoiu I (2013) Perception of parental rejection in children left behind by migrant parents. Revista de cercetare şi intervenţie sociala. 42:191–203Google Scholar
  3. Artazcoz L, Benach J, Borrell C, Cortès I (2004) Unemployment and mental health: understanding the interactions among gender, family roles, and social class. Am J Public Health 94(1):82–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Auer P, Efendioğlu Ü, Leschke J (2005) Active labour market policies around the world: coping with the consequences of globalization. International Labour Office, Geneva. ISBN 92-2-115789-XGoogle Scholar
  5. Bačíková-Šlešková M, Madarasova Geckova A, van Dijk JP, Groothoff JW, Reijneveld SA (2011) Parental support and adolescents’ health in the context of parental employment status. J Adolesc 34:141–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barraza L (2001) Perception of social and environmental problems by english and mexican school children. Can J Environ Educ 6:139–157Google Scholar
  7. Ben-Arieh A (2005) Where are the children? Children’s role in measuring and monitoring their well-being. Soc Indic Res 74(3):573–596. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ben-Arieh A (2014) Social policy and the changing concept of child well-being. The role of international studies and children as active participants. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 60:569–581Google Scholar
  9. Blakemore K, Warwick-Booth L (2013) Social policy: an introduction. Open University Press, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  10. Blustein DL (2008) The role of work in psychological health and well-being. a conceptual, historical, and public policy perspective. Am Psychol 63(4):228–240. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Chzhen Y (2015) Perceptions of the economic crisis in Europe: do adults in households with children feel a greater impact? Soc Indic Res 127:341–360. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cook J, Dwyer P, Waite L (2011) The experiences of accession 8 migrants in England: motivations, work and agency. Int Migr 49:54–79. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Creed PA, Macintyre SR (2001) The relative effects of deprivation of the latent and manifest benefits of employment on the well-being of unemployed people. J Occup Health Psychol 6(4):324–331. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Decety J, Michalska KJ, Akitsuki Y (2008) Who caused the pain? An fMRI investigation of empathy and intentionality in children. Neuropsychologia 46(11):2607–2614. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Gangl M (2006) Scar effects of unemployment: an assessment of institutional complementarities. Am Sociol Rev 71(6):986–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Green AE, Aarons GA (2011) A comparison of policy and direct practice stakeholder perceptions of factors affecting evidence-based practice implementation using concept mapping. Implement Sci 6:104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jackson KM, Trochim WMK (2002) Concept mapping as an alternative approach for the analysis of open-ended survey responses. Organ Res Methods 5:307–336. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kane M, Trochim WMK (2007) Concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Sage Publications Inc., CaliforniaCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Khan AR (2001) Employment policies for poverty reduction. Issues in employment and poverty, discussion paper no. 1. Working paper. International Labour Office, Recovery and Reconstruction Department, Geneva. ISBN: 92-2-112783-4Google Scholar
  20. Kruskal JB, Wish M (1978) Multidimensional scaling. Sage University Press, Beverly HillsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lapshyna I, Düvell F (2018) ‘We can only dream about Europe’: perceptions of social policy as a driver of migration aspirations. the case of Ukraine. J Soc Policy Stud 16(3):661–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Melton G, Limber S (1992) What children’s rights mean to children: children’s own views. In: Freeman M, Veerman P (eds) The ideologies of children’s rights. Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, pp 167–187Google Scholar
  23. Monterrosa EC, Campirano F, Tolentino Mayo L, Frongillo EA, Hernández Cordero S, Kaufer-Horwitz M, Rivera JA (2015) Stakeholder perspectives on national policy for regulating the school food environment in Mexico. Health Policy Plan 30:28–38. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. OECD (2001) Labour market policies and the public employment service. OECD Proceedings. Prague Conference, July 2000Google Scholar
  25. OECD (2014) OECD economic surveys: Slovak Republic 2014. OECD Publishing, ParisCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pfoertner TK, Rathmann K, Elgar FJ, de Looze M, Hoffmann F, Ottova V, Ravens-Sieberer U, Bosakova L, Currie C, Richter M (2014) Adolescents’ psychological health complaints and the economic recession in late 2007: a multilevel study in 31 countries. Eur J Pub Health 24(6):960–966. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Polovina N, Ćirović I, Jošić S (2013) The issue of migration according to adolescents and their parents´ perceptions of their future. In: Pracana C, Silva L (eds) International psychological applications conference and trends, InPact 2013. Book of proceedings. World Institute for Advanced Research and Science, LisbonGoogle Scholar
  28. Quesnel-Vallée A (2015) Policies and health inequalities: state of the field and future directions. Can Public Policy 41(Supplement 2):1–9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Riege A, Lindsay N (2006) Knowledge management in the public sector: stakeholder partnerships in the public policy development. J Knowl Manag 10(3):24–39. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rosicova K, Bosakova L, Madarasova Geckova A, Rosic M, Andrejkovic M, Žežula I, Groothoff JW, van Dijk JP (2016) Regional mortality by socioeconomic factors in Slovakia: a comparison of 15 years of changes. Int J Equity Health. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Saunders M, Barr B, McHale P, Hamelmann C (2017) Key policies for addressing the social determinants of health and health inequities. Health evidence network synthesis report, no. 52. WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen. ISBN-13: 978-92-890-5265-8Google Scholar
  32. Schneider A, Ingram H (1993) Social construction of target populations: implications for politics and policy. Am Politic Sci Rev 87(2):334–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schraad-Tischler D (2015) Social justice in the EU—index report 2015. Social inclusion monitor EuropeGoogle Scholar
  34. Schraad-Tischler D, Schiller C (2016) Social justice in the EU—index report 2016. Social inclusion monitor EuropeGoogle Scholar
  35. Schröter DC, Coryn CLS, Cullen A, Robertson KN, Alyami M (2012) Using concept mapping for planning and evaluation of a statewide energy efficiency initiative. Energ Effi 5:365–375. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shore J, Tosun J (2019) Assessing youth labour market services: young people’s perceptions and evaluations of service delivery in Germany. Public Policy Adm 34(1):22–41Google Scholar
  37. van Oorschot W (2006) Making the difference in social Europe: deservingness perceptions among citizens of European welfare states. J Eur Soc Policy. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vinokur AD, Price RH, Caplan RD (1996) Hard times and hurtful partners: how financial strain affects depression and relationship satisfaction of unemployed persons and their spouses. J Pers Soc Psychol 71(1):166–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Warneken F, Tomasello M (2009) Varieties of altruism in children and chimpanzees. Trends Cogn Sci 13(9):397–402. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Zabarauskaitė R, Skackauskiene I (2014) The survey of attitudes toward work by the unemployed in Lithuania. Int J Manag Theory Appl (IREMAN) 2(4):116–122Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucia Bosakova
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carme Borrell
    • 4
    • 5
  • Zuzana Hajduova
    • 6
  • Jitse P. van Dijk
    • 2
    • 3
    • 7
  • Sijmen A. Reijneveld
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Health Psychology, Medical FacultyP.J. Safarik University in KosiceKosiceSlovakia
  2. 2.Graduate School Kosice Institute for Society and HealthP.J. Safarik University in KosiceKosiceSlovakia
  3. 3.Olomouc University Society and Health InstitutePalacky University in OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  4. 4.Agència de Salut Pública de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud PúblicaMadridSpain
  6. 6.Department of Business Finance, Faculty of Business ManagementUniversity of Economics in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia
  7. 7.Department of Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations