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Personality change following unemployment

Record type: Article

Unemployment has a strongly negative influence on well-being, but it is unclear whether it also alters basic personality traits. Whether personality changes arise through natural maturation processes or contextual/environmental factors is still a matter of debate. Unemployment, a relatively unexpected and commonly occurring life event, may shed light on the relevance of context for personality change. We examined, using a latent change model, the influence of unemployment on the five-factor model of personality in a sample of 6,769 German adults, who completed personality measures at 2 time points 4 years apart. All participants were employed at the first time point, and a subset became unemployed over the course of the study. By the second time point, participants had either remained in employment, been unemployed from 1 to 4 years, or had experienced some unemployment but become reemployed. Compared with those who had remained in employment, unemployed men and women experienced significant patterns of change in their mean levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness, whereas reemployed individuals experienced limited change. The results indicate that unemployment has wider psychological implications than previously thought. In addition, the results are consistent with the view that personality changes as a function of contextual and environmental factors

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Citation

Boyce, C.J., Wood, A.M., Daly, M. and Sedikides, C. (2015) Personality change following unemployment Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, (4), pp. 991-1011. (doi:10.1037/a0038647).

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Published date: July 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381170
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381170
ISSN: 0021-9010
PURE UUID: 8a673d65-5933-4a67-8104-755e8a1d9f52

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Date deposited: 24 Sep 2015 14:00
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:29

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Contributors

Author: C.J. Boyce
Author: A.M. Wood
Author: M. Daly
Author: C. Sedikides

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