THE EFFICACY OF CONTROL AND THE LATENT AND MANIFEST BENEFITS OF EMPLOYMENT IN PREDICTING PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING IN AN UNEMPLOYED SAMPLE
 
Creed, P.A., Griffith University-Gold Coast and Bartrum, D., Griffith University, Australia
 
The most widely adopted explanation for the deterioration in well-being found in the unemployed when compared with the employed is the latent deprivation model (Jahoda, 1981), which argues that the decline is the result of the loss of latent benefits of employment (e.g., time structure and social support). Others authors (e.g., Fryer, 1986) implicate the loss of the manifest benefits of employment (i.e., financial benefits). These explanations are inconsistent with stress models proposed to account for deterioration in well-being in the employed. The most influential model utilised to provide an explanation of the relationship between job strain and job stress is the job strain model proposed by Karasek and Thorell (1990). This model proposes that understanding the combination of job demands, control and social support is sufficient to predict well-being. This study tested the efficacy of an integration of the latent deprivation, financial strain and demand/control models in predicting well-being in an unemployed sample. The main additional variable to those in the latent deprivation model was control. Two hundred and forty-three unemployed participants were administered measures to tap the latent and manifest benefits of employment, mastery/control, and context-free and context- specific well-being. Variables that have been implicated in affecting well- being in the unemployed were controlled (age, gender, work commitment and dispositional negative affectivity). Results indicated contributions by financial strain, the latent benefits and control. Implications for the latent deprivation and demand/control stress models are discussed. References: Fryer, D. M. (1986). Employment deprivation and personal agency during unemployment: A critical discussion of Jahoda's explanation of the psychological effects of unemployment. Social Behaviour, 1, 3-23. Jahoda, M. (1981).Work, employment and unemployment: Values, theories and approaches in social research. American Psychologist, 36(2), 184-191. Karasek, R., & Theorell, T. (1990). Healthy work: Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. London: Basic Books.