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Length of unemployment and psychological distress: Longitudinal and cross-sectional data


  • Winefield, Anthony H.
  • Tiggemann, Marika


Data are presented from the second stage of a longitudinal study of unemployed young people, when their ages ranged from 19 to 24 yr. Data from the first stage, when their ages ranged from 16 to 20 yr, had provided support for a curvilinear hypothesis relating psychological distress or affective well-being, to unemployment duration. According to the curvilinear hypothesis, distress peaks at around 6 months and declines thereafter. In the present study three target groups were distinguished: those unemployed for 3 months or less, those unemployed from 4 to 8 months, and those unemployed for 9 months or more. On most of the dependent measures the 3 month, and 4-8 month groups did not differ, but the 9 month group was significantly worse off than either. It is concluded that the relations between length of unemployment and psychological distress, or well-being, are different in teenagers and young adults. Possible explanations for the differences are discussed.

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  • Winefield, Anthony H. & Tiggemann, Marika, 1990. "Length of unemployment and psychological distress: Longitudinal and cross-sectional data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 461-465, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:31:y:1990:i:4:p:461-465

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Temin, Peter, 1983. "Costs and benefits in switching drugs from Rx to OTC," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 187-205, December.
    2. Foster, S. D., 1990. "Improving the supply and use of essential drugs in sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 456, The World Bank.
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    1. Cooper, D. & McCausland, W.D. & Theodossiou, I., 2006. "The health hazards of unemployment and poor education: The socioeconomic determinants of health duration in the European Union," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 273-297, December.


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