Protestant work ethic, work involvement and the psychological impact of unemployment

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Abstract

This study is an attempt to replicate and extend recent findings concerning the moderating effect of employment commitment on the psychological impact of unemployment. It was carried out in a highly educated population and employed Protestant work ethic endorsement (PWE) and work involvement (WINV) as indicators of commitment to work. Evidence was collected by questionnaires from 432 individuals who had been unemployed and again, six months later, from most of the same individuals. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis shows that individuals with high WINV were likely to suffer more from unemployment and to gain more from finding employment than low work-involved individuals. PWE, on the other hand, did not moderate the relationship between employment status and psychological state.

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